Bulldogs basketball gets last playoff birth in 1A

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @dvillechief
ACHS junior Gilbert Allen works to drive past a Livonia defender earlier this season.

The ACHS Bulldogs basketball team nabbed the final spot in the 1A state playoff bracket released last Thursday and is scheduled to go on the road to take on the number one ranked Christian Life. After a coaching change in the middle of the season and losing some key players to grade eligibility, the Bulldogs just want their respect on the basketball court.

“We made the playoffs, the girl’s made the playoffs, the football team made the playoffs, the cross country team won state, so we are beginning to compete now,” junior Gilbert Allen said. “We are not just Ascension Catholic High School, a bunch of young men that don’t care.”

Gilbert who has led the team in scoring and vocally said it feels good the team got in the playoffs and now they can join the other sports and hold their heads high. With only one senior being on the roster, Oliver Joseph who didn’t play in the season due to injury, Allen and junior Tandym Wells are the experienced veterans on the team and lead it.

“We are just trying to get respect,” Wells said to echo Allen. “Everybody looks at the basketball team now as ‘they never win, they don’t make the playoffs or nothing’ so now it’s different. People are surprised. We say ‘yea we made the playoffs this year and they’re like ‘really?’ because they didn’t notice what we were doing. Now they realize basketball is starting to become something.”

The team is going to play the defending state champions, Christian Life, but the Bulldogs believe they have some kryptonite for Superman and said they are going to go play.

Despite taking the last seed, ACHS has a better winning record then ten of the teams in the tournament in wins-percentage. But, Ball said as long as his kids got in.

The team’s interim coach Reginald “Duck” Ball coaching the Bulldogs was an opportunity that he got and he said the kids made the best of it for him.

“I will always be indebted to these young men for doing that,” Ball said. “The future is very bright in Ascension Catholic basketball-wise. Not just in football.”

“In our district, we are always going to have the East Iberville’s, White Castle, West St. John, but now they are going to have to start mentioning Ascension Catholic,” Ball said. “They are going to have to start mentioning these young men because they can compete with anybody.”

Ball added: “I would like to thank all the parents of these young men for being courteous and nice to me. I would like to thank the Donaldsonville Chief for covering Ascension Catholic basketball.”