In 2010, the Hornbeck Hornets reached the quarterfinals, only to go on the road and fall to eventual state finalist Midland.


In 2010, the Hornbeck Hornets reached the quarterfinals, only to go on the road and fall to eventual state finalist Midland.
The road to the Class B quarterfinals has had a friendlier path as the third-ranked Hornets (31-6) have played their first two playoff games at home against Grand Lake and Negreet, both double-digit wins.
It becomes much tougher Friday night when the defending Class B champion Rapides Mustangs enter the Hornet's Nest in the state quarterfinals. Tipoff is at 6:30 p.m.
The sixth-seeded Mustangs (28-10), under the guidance of Travis Broussard, have won 12 straight games entering Friday's contest, including all 10 District 6-B contests and its playoff games against Centerville (75-43) and Florien (72-41).
"Rapides is really quick. They have a great team," Hornbeck head coach Charlie Alexander said. "They may have several losses on their record, but they played a bunch of bigger schools like Alexandria and Peabody and played them close. The only game they lost to a bigger school and it wasn't close was Pickering and I don't know what happened there.
"But I do know they are going to be tough to beat and they should be a top four seed and not sixth," Alexander added. "We have to come ready to play."
The Mustangs feature four players who average in double figures, two seniors and two juniors.
Senior Keldrick Timothy and junior D.D. Birdlong both score about 19 points per game for the Mustangs, while senior Devoun Johnson and junior Kevin Toney average 10 per contest.
"We are going to have play some defense and rebound the ball well to win this game," Alexander said. "Plus, we are going to have to make our free throws."
The Hornets, who have yet to lose at home this season, will likely counter with the starting lineup of Matthew Killian, Matt Alford, Dre Alexander, Trevor Beverly and Kannon Dahlhoff, with Shannon Hale coming off the bench to provide a little extra punch offensively and defensively.
Killian, a second-team all-stater a year ago, leads the Hornets at 18 points and eight rebounds per game, while Alford and Beverly also averaging in double figures as 12 and 15 points, respectively.
Beverly is coming off a 30-point effort against Negreet, leading the Hornets to an 84-47 victory. Hornbeck defeated Grand Lake in the first round by 21 points, 68-47.
The winner of this game will advance to the Top 28 at Lafayette's Cajundome next week to play against second-ranked Fairview or seventh-ranked Houma Christian.