Bogalusa returns to the Mandeville Skipper Classic

Published 11:14 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

By Mike Pervel

Pontchartrain newspapers

The Bogalusa Lumberjacks (1-2) return to the Skipper Classic in Mandeville and square off with the Fontainebleau Bulldogs tipping off the tourney this afternoon at 3:30.

The basketball tournament features eight schools including the host Skippers, Fontainebleau,0 Lakeshore Titans, Salmen Spartans and Slidell Tigers representing St. Tammany Parish. Three teams from outside the parish include the Lumberjacks, Catholic High Bears out of Baton Rouge and the West Jefferson Buccaneers from Harvey on the West Bank.

Four games are scheduled each day with action taking place today, Thursday and Saturday.

Game two this afternoon pits Catholic vs. West Jeff at 5 followed by St. Tammany Parish rivals Salmen and Slidell with the Skippers closing out first day action hosting Lakeshore tonight at 8.

Originally, the tournament schedule was supposed to be played on three consecutive days, but Friday’s games were moved to Saturday to accommodate for the Skippers’ football team semifinal playoff game against No. 1 seed Archbishop Rummel, which takes place Friday night at Joe Yenni Stadium.

Bogalusa coach Ken Martin is in his 18th season with the Lumberjacks.

“We are returning back to the Skipper Classic this year after not participating for the last two years. We like playing in the Mandeville Classic to play against the Salmen’s and Catholic High’s of Baton Rouge, which will help prepare us for the season. It’s good to face higher classification schools because that makes you better,” Martin said.

“We have good size and are a veteran club. We have been the district or co-district champs the last three years and have made the playoffs for the past eight years.

We play pressure defense and like to push the ball up court playing up an up-tempo style game,” Martin added.

Martin said his club is facing some key injuries with a couple football players, who are out of the lineup due to injury.

Senior point guard Cordero Brown is out with an ankle injury and isn’t expected back until sometime in January and senior guard Chris Rivera is also out with an ankle injury and hopes to return in a couple weeks.

Senior forward Trevonne Mingo (6-3) leads the Lumberjacks, averaging 24.0 points per game with four rebounds per contest.

Lumberjacks’ senior shooting guard Brian Williams (6-4), a four-year starter, is averaging 20.0 points per contest. Williams is three-time District 9-3A returning first team All-District player. Senior forward Rodney Crumedy (6-3) averages 12 points a game with four rebounds.

Mandeville head coach John Priola said they are anxious to host the long-standing tournament once again.

“This is a more traditional tournament in the fact that we will determine a winner on Saturday afternoon. We will crown a champion with the championship game getting underway at 2:30,” Priola said.

“It’s a major fundraiser, which features a lot of local talent from the parish. We feel its one of the premier pre-season tournaments thanks to the outstanding parental support we have. We have tried to maintain the reputation of excellence first established by former head coach Johnny Vitrano (current Fontainebleau principal) when he coached here and set up the Skipper Classic,” Priola added.