Beginning today, 48 teams vying for 12 state titles are in southwest Louisiana for the 2017 LHSAA boys’ state basketball tournament. Before the split playoffs between select and non-select schools, 28 teams competed for 7 titles. Eric Zartler with the Lake Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau says they are ready for all those extra games.
“We’re starting a day early. We’ll have 6 games a day, so the days will be a little bit longer. We have our volunteers lined up to split some shifts, and we’re ready to roll,” Zartler said.
All games are played at Burton Coliseum. Zartler says at this point, they have no idea how many people to expect. He says even with all the flooding and bad weather last year, they still saw a good turnout. He’s hoping blue skies will encourage even more fans to come out.
“We’re hoping for clear skies throughout the state this week. Hopefully all the teams can get the local support from their communities and Lake Charles and come out to Burton Coliseum and support their team,” Zartler said.
Zartler says with 20 extra teams this year, everyone is excited for Marsh Madness. There have been rumblings that other cities like Alexandria and Lafayette are hoping to host future tournaments. But Zartler says they can’t worry about what other cities are bidding. He says they can only control their own destiny.
“Every time we step into that arena and those kids step into that arena, we need to put our best foot forward too. Just like they’re doing on the floor, we need to do it behind the scenes and make sure the teams are having a great experience from the second they roll into town until they leave,” Zartler said.