Coming off one its best performances of the year, Hicks will take on No. 1 Simsboro in the Class B State Semifinals.
The Pirates and Tigers will play at 4:45 Wednesday for a spot in the state championship game at Burton Coliseum.
"I'm trying to do my best to prepare them for what is to come," Hicks coach Neil Standifer said. "We're going to have a practice Tuesday morning at Rapides Coliseum to get them used to shooting in that open space, and then I'm going to take them to some games Tuesday night just so they can sit there and see what it is like. I don't know if it will prepare us, but it will help us a little bit going into our game on Wednesday."
No. 4 Hicks is defeated No. 5 Florien 82-64 in the quarterfinal round behind 12 3 pointers– all coming in the first half.
"That is about as good as a shooting game that we've had all year," Standifer said. "Really, our three playoff games have been our best performances of the year. Our shooting is coming around for us, and hopefully, that will come over to Wednesday too."
Hicks has had a balanced scoring attack throughout the year, with four players averaging double figures: Daniel Miller (15.6), Trace Williams (12.5), Mitchell Kinchen (18) and Austin Merchant (10.8).
This is the first time Hicks has been to state in Class B, after making it in 2005 in Class C.
"Everybody is really excited, especially because the girls made it to state too," Standifer said. "I think that was their first trip since 1997. It's been a long time for both teams, and for both us to make it in the same year, the whole Hicks community is excited and fired up right now."
Simsboro has lost just three games this season, all to teams ranked highly in their classes.
"They're extremely athletic," Standifer said. "They're a very good team. They have several guys who are really tough. We are definitely going to have to bring our A game."
The Tigers are led by 6-foot-2 guard Deonte Levingston, who averages 18 points per game along with 8.5 rebounds.
"We're trying to keep it the same," Standifer said. "We know Simsboro is a really good team, so we're making a few adjustments to prepare for them. For the most part, we're going to stick with what got us this far.
"They're excited. From what we've heard and seen, my guys are definitely coming in optimistic that we have a chance. We know if we can keep the game close and not give up a big run at the beginning that we can have a shot. They're a tough team, and I don't think my guys are intimidated. I think they're ready to play them."