Lafayette Christian Academy Has Eyes On Another Top 28 Tournament Run
The Knights (27-3, 12-0) have had an incredible past three years on the hardwood, going from a little known basketball program just beginning LHSAA play to a Top 28 appearance to a #1 ranking in the Acadiana area, in all classes.
As the Knights enter the playoffs for the third time in three years, they also enter the postseason going undefeated in District 7-1A play for two years straight. And, while LCA also prepares to host BLANK on Friday night, keep in mind that the Knights are also undefeated at home in the PLEX (22-0) in the last two seasons and are an impressive 33-2 at the PLEX in the last three seasons.
And at the helm for the Knights has been Head Basketball Coach Byron Starks.
Coach Starks, who many Ragin' Cajun fans know from his playing days with UL, has led this team against all-comers. In building an amazing 76-11 record over the past three years, Coach Starks' Knights have taken on and defeated traditional Acadiana area powers such as Lafayette High, Comeaux High and St. Thomas More, as well as statewide powers such as Grambling, Captain Shreve, New Living Word and Rapides. After leading the Knights to its first Top 28 appearance last year, Coach Starks was awarded the 2014 Class 1A Coach of the Year by the LHSAA.
Of course, when you talk to Coach Starks, he is quick to give credit to his coaching staff and players, and is always focused on that next goal.
“It’s another building block for our program,” Lafayette Christian coach Byron Starks told The Advocate after his team defeated the Highland Baptist Bears 98-50 in the season finale. “Our kids worked hard in preseason and in the regular season to get it done. It’s also good to send our seniors out on a good note.”
LCA also has their sights set on another Top 28 appearance, hoping that the "Knight Train" can roll back into the state championship tournament and better last year's semifinal appearance. Led by the Ledoux twins, Kaleb and Jacob, as well the fabulous freshman, Greg Williams, the Knights are an explosive team that has been good enough to not only blowout fellow playoff teams, but beat them decisively on "off nights." Each of the twins have great range from behind the 3-point line and great athleticism which allows them to put on a show through the air on offense and pester opposing players on defense. Williams, meanwhile, is a great third scoring option whose athleticism of his own causes fits for opposing guards as the Knights full court press teams into mistake after mistake and garner easy bucket after easy bucket for themselves.
But the Knights are way more than just those three players. Andrew Epps is a big man who comes off the bench and gives LCA versatility with its lineup. He cleans up around the basket, getting rebounds and put back buckets, but also has some range himself. Michael Harden, who Epps tends to sub for, is a guard whose pressure defense is phenonenal and causes huge problems for opposing point guards, especially in the half court game. Throw in the shooting touch of Denzel Savoy, Coach Starks' two sons Caleb and Christon, Zack Narcisse's contributions off the bench, and a bevy of young players, and you have a talented, well-coached team that comes at you in waves.
And for LCA to hoist that Class 1A state championship trophy, it's going to take a complete team effort to not only make it through the playoffs, but past whichever solid teams end up in the Top 28, including Class 1A favorite Madison Prep, who knocked the Knights out of the state championship tournament last season.
First step towards another Top 28 appearance begins Friday night as the Knights take on St. Frederick at the PLEX in the first round of the Class 1A LHSAA Boys Basketball Playoffs.