In Louisiana high school basketball circles, records are not so much made to be broken as they are to be monopolized. One glance at the National Federation of State High Schools Association record book provides proof.
Some 32 years removed from his senior season at tiny Class C Ebarb High, guard Greg Procell still stands atop the all-time scoring list with 6,702 points, for a career average of 37.2 points per game. As a senior, Procell averaged 46.7 points for the state champs who played 68 games that season and finished 56-12. Procell set his all-time mark in 180 games.
Equally impressive was the career of Bruce Williams of Florien, another small school near the Sabine River. He scored 5,367 career points, No. 2 on the all-time list. But the 6-foot-5 Williams also hauled in 3,059 rebounds, which is No. 1 on that list. And, for good measure, Randy Carlisle of Minden remains No. 1 in all-time assists with 1,592.
De La Salle guard Daryl Moreau still holds the prep record for most consecutive free throws made – 126 – in 1978-'79 which also remains a record for men's college and professional basketball. These records are compiled by the National Federation of State High Schools Association.
On the heels of Procell and Williams in scoring are the late Jackie Moreland (No. 4, 5,030 points) of Minden who played at Louisiana Tech and for the New Orleans Buccaneers of the old American Basketball Association; Todd Briley of Midland (No. 6, 4,730 points); Harold Ray Strother of Glenmora (No. 7, 4,569 points); Derek Smith of Atlanta (No. 10, 4,098 points) and Bobby Joe Douglas of Marion (No. 11, 4,070 points), who averaged 54 points as a senior. Moreland died of cancer at age 33 in 1971.
Perched at No. 17 in all-time scoring is former Woodlawn-Shreveport and Centenary center Robert Parish with 3,562 points from 1969-72 before he became a star with the Celtics.
Some recent research indicates that David Cambre, who played in the 1950s, scored 5,814 points during a career at French Settlement which would place him at No. 2 behind Procell.
Wonder how many basketball fans realize that Louisiana was the birth place for the ultimate winner in college and professional basketball history? Yes, most folks are well-versed on the accomplishments of the legendary Michael Jordan, generally considered to be the best basketball player of all-time -- with an NCAA title at North Carolina and six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls to his credit.
But on Feb. 12, 1934, William Felton Russell was born in Monroe, La., where he lived briefly before moving to California. At the University of San Francisco, the 6-foot-9 center led the Dons to NCAA championships in 1955 and '56. In the NBA, Bill Russell's Boston Celtics teams claimed an unimaginable 11 NBA championships within a span of 13 years. In two of those championship seasons, he was a player-coach.
Another center who enjoyed success on all competitive levels was Brother Martin's Rick Robey. At 6-foot-10, Robey led Brother Martin to the 1974 Class 4A state championship. At Kentucky, he performed for NIT championship team plus an NCAA championship team in 1978. Robey later performed as a member of the 1981 Celtics NBA champions.
As for team successes at the tourney, Zwolle, a small school located west of Natchitoches on the Sabine River, captured six consecutive Class B titles from 1988 to 1993 and then moved to up to Class 2A in 1994 and won a seventh. Few programs could equal the success of Southern Lab of Baton Rouge which won 12 Class 1A titles between 1987 and 2005.
Jesuit's feat of claiming three consecutive state titles on the highest classification at the state tournament remains unmatched. The Blue Jays prevailed in 1964 (30-2), 1965 (28-1) and 1966 (22-4). In '65, during an era when victorious teams usually won games by scoring 50 and 60 points, Jesuit clobbered East Jefferson 101-74 and Bolton 100-73.
Since the '66 season, four schools have won consecutive titles on the highest class at the state event: Brother Martin, 1970-'71; Rummel, 1977-'78, Cohen, 1990-'91, Woodlawn-Baton Rouge, 2002-'03 and Brother Martin, 2004-'05. Martin's bid to possibly tie Jesuit with a third title in 2006 was doomed when the school was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Martin was 36-0 in 1970; Rummel was 35-0 in '78 and Woodlawn finished 39-0 in '03. Prior to the then-Top 20, St. Aloysius won three straight titles from 1951-'53 and De La Salle did the same from 1957-'59.
Under Coach Timmy Byrd, Reserve Christian captured Class B titles in 2002, '03 and '05 and Class C titles in 2006, '07, '08 and '09. When the school closed, Byrd, a former East St. John quarterback who played college ball at LSU and USM, moved and was followed by many of his players across Airline Drive to Riverside Academy. In Class 2A, the Rebels brought home the school's first basketball championships in 2010 and 2011.
Demond "Tweety" Carter scored 7,457 points in six seasons at Reserve Christian, including 5,748 points in 200 games. When those figures are recognized by the national association, he will rank either No. 2 or No. 3 in scoring for a four-year career. Reserve Christian is the only area school to ever claim a state title in Class B or C.
One of the most memorable games at the then-Top 24 took place in 1979 at Alexandria when homestanding Peabody, led by future Tulane signee Paul Thompson, met Baton Rouge-Redemptorist, led by future LSU signee Howard "Hi-C" Carter. A crush of Peabody fans who were unable to secure tickets to the Rapides Parish Coliseum stood at least 10 deep at each gate just hoping gain a glimpse of the action. In a thriller, the home team, led by Thompson, upended Redemptorist 55-53. A two-time defending state champion, Redemptorist had won 70 consecutive games.
In 1967, undefeated LaGrange (35-0) downed previously undefeated Baton Rouge High 62-57. LaGrange's James "Poo" Welch and Baton Rouge's Al "Apple" Sanders each scored 32 points. The court was bombarded by seat cushions thrown by fans following the game. Baton Rouge rebounded in 1968 with a 31-0 record.
During its two-year stay in Lake Charles, the Top 24 provided the venue for one streak to end and another to continue. In the 1977 Class 4A finals, Rummel upset DeRidder 52-48, halting a 41-game winning streak by the Dragons, whose fans filled the Civic Center. Rummel would capture 49 consecutive games, culminating in an 83-64 victory against Fair Park for the 1978 title that completed a 35-0 season. Rummel, Newman and Country Day provided the Crescent City with three tourney titles in one season for the first time.
With an 11 combined state titles, either St. Augustine or Brother Martin has claimed at least one state championship in every decade since the 1969-'70 season, including back-to-back 5A titles for the Crusaders in 2010 and the Purple Knights in 2011. St. Aug has now moved down to Class 4A.
Since modern Class 3A began in 1971, Karr is the only school from the N.O. metropolitan area to capture a state basketball title in that class. The Cougars prevailed in 1994, '96, and 2007. (St. James took the 2000 title). In modern Class 1A, Port Sulphur and Country Day are the only locals to take state titles. On the highest class, schools from what would become the Catholic League claimed 21 titles from 1941 until 1971, including nine consecutive championships from 1941 to 1949. Those titles were split among St. Aloysius, Holy Cross, Jesuit, De La Salle and Brother Martin.
St. Augustine, a five-time state champion on the highest classification, has sent players to colleges such as Arizona, Texas, Rice, Tulane, Notre Dame, Creighton, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Villanova and Georgetown, but no Purple Knight senior has ever signed with LSU. The only player from the Catholic League to letter four years at LSU was De La Salle guard Jordy Hultberg, from 1976-'80. St. Aug opened in 1951.
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