It's been a long time since the Pickering Red Devils reached the Top 28.


It's been a long time since the Pickering Red Devils reached the Top 28.
Just how long has it been.
It's been so long, that all of the current Red Devils were not even in school yet.
Back in 1996, the Red Devils reached the Top 28, but were dispatched by Springfield in the state semifinals.
Fourth-ranked Pickering (29-4) has a chance to return to the Top 28 Friday night with a victory. But standing in the way of the Red Devils is the fifth-ranked Episcopal Knights of Baton Rouge, aiming to return to the Top 28 for a second time in three years.
The Class 2A quarterfinal has a 6 p.m. tipoff time, with the winner facing either top-ranked Riverside or ninth-seeded Jonesboro-Hodge in the state semifinals next week in Lafayette.
"Episcopal is a well-rounded team," Pickering head coach Eddie Thomas said. "I've seen a little bit of film on them and they shoot the ball well. They are also very well-coached."
Although the Knights (27-6) are a well-rounded team, one can't help but be in awe of standout Brian Bridgewater.
Bridgewater, a 6-5 sophomore, is one of the top young players in the state and is arguably the most talented player in the Baton Rouge area. He averages 24 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Knights. He is coming off a 45-point performance against Farmerville, where Episcopal post a 64-61 victory.
"He's a very tough player, no doubt about it," Thomas said of Bridgewater. "But we have to do the things we do well and do that to the best of our ability."
Bridgewater isn't alone for the Knights, however. Junior Vincent Dellocono, the starting quarterback on the school's football team, averages about 16 points per game and comes from a family rich in sports tradition as his father was a professional football player, having been a member of the New Orleans Saints at one time.
But the Knights will have problems of their own trying to defend senior guard/forward John Isaac, a 6-4 LSU signee.
Isaac averaged about 22 points and 10 rebounds per game during the season, but has really stepped it up during the playoffs.
In a first-round overtime win over Mansfield, Isaac ripped the Wolverines for 36 points and 17 rebounds. Against Lusher Charter on Wednesday, Isaac was good for 29 points and 13 rebounds.
But like Bridgewater, Isaac is not alone on his team.
Seniors Anthony Davis and Andre Belton combine for about 30 points per game, while senior Gett Thomas provides close to five points per outing. Sophomore Wynton Robinson rounds out the starting five, while Marcel Palmer, Angel Veintidos, Carlos Alonzo and Tacorey Washington provide some needed minutes off the bench.