The basketball season officially begins today for both the boys and girls teams. The season opener for both teams will also be the home opener as the Lady Patriots will tipoff at 5:00 against the Mandeville Skippers, with the boys team playing shortly after the completion of that game against the St. Charles Catholic Comets. Below are preview articles on each team.
The Lady Patriot basketball team is coming off of a Division I state championship last season. The ladies sported an impressive 30-2 overall record and a perfect 6-0 district record. This year’s team is led by Barbara Farris, once again. Coach Farris has proven to be one of the top coaches in the state, by consistently placing a championship-caliber team on the court nearly every season. Coach Farris has won over 100 more games than she has lost, sporting an overall record of 162-42 entering her 7th season as head coach for the Patriots. She has led the Lady Patriot basketball team to 2 state championships, 1 runner-up, 1 semi-finals appearance and 1 quarter-finals appearance and has never missed the playoffs in her six seasons. This year’s team returns a plethora of experiece and is led by a host of seniors. Tulane signee Dynah Jones is a 4 year starter for the Patriots and can play a variety of positions and score in multiple ways making it very difficult for opponents to stop her and the Lady Patriot offense. Another college signee, Alaan West, who signed at Limestone College, also returns to help lead the Patriots. Seniors Breione Brown and Dajha Virgil will also lead the way after considerable playing time as juniors. The Patriots are not just full of upperclassmen, though. They also return the state championship MVP, Jerkalia Jordan, who is a sophomore. Juniors Salma Bates, Maya Washington, Chrislyn Boyd, as well as Abryhia Irons, who is coming off of knee surgery last year.
The Lady Patriots will compete in disctrict 9-5A with all girls schools Mount Carmel, Dominican and Chapelle. They also play a very challenging non-district schedule as well, where the schedule is dotted with a “who’s who” of high school basketball. Not to be outdone, the Lady Patriots will play in 3 very challenging tournaments, beginning with the Ursuline tournament, then the St. Michael’s tournament, and finishing with the All State Sugar National Prep Classic. The Lady Patriots lost in the championship of the National Prep Classic to 5A state titlist Destrehan in a back and forth affair.
The boys team is led by head coach Mike Krajcer. Krajcer has coached the Patriots to the school’s lone state championship, in 2012. The Patriots have been a regular in the playoffs and have made some deep runs toward the state championship, including the 2015 state runner-up and making the quarter-finals in both 2017 and 2013. The Patriots will try to replace one of the school’s all-time leading scorers in Kai Morgan. Filling that void will be difficult but returning senior starters Dawson Crosby, Donell Jones and Steven Poole will try to do so. Joining Crosby are sharpshooters in junior Andrew Stagni and sophomore Rashaad Jones. Junior Levon Williams will add height inside for the Patriots. However, Williams and Jones are integral parts of the Patriot football team and won’t join the basketball team until the completion of football season.
The Patriots, as always, will play a challenging and demanding schedule participating in the Lusher, Newman and Country Day tournaments, as well as the prestigious CYO tournament. The CYO tournament is the oldest tournament in the city. The Patriots will also compete in the ultra competitive Catholic League, or district 9-5A.