The second day of the Madison Prep Academy Classic turned into an infomercial for Lafayette Parish basketball.
Lafayette High, Northside and Lafayette Christian all advanced to form three-fourths of the inaugural event’s semifinal bracket.
While Lafayette High and Lafayette Christian Academy enjoyed double-digit wins — the Lions defeating Hamilton Christian 71-47 and the Knights outdistancing McKinley 68-58 – the most dramatic conclusion was produced by Northside.
Northside overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit with a furious rally midway through the final quarter for a 65-62 victory over previously undefeated Port Allen.
“We have a bunch of kids who haven’t played at the varsity level,” Northside first-year coach Ross Rix said.
“We knew Port Allen had a good team and was also undefeated and we wanted to be the first to take them down and we did.”
Northside (8-3) and Lafayette Christian (8-1), which are located 10 minutes apart, meet in one semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Friday with Lafayette (8-0) taking on Madison Prep, which defeated New Iberia 58-36, at 7 p.m.
“Our main thing was to challenge and make it a fast-paced game,” LCA coach Byron Starks said. “It was up to our guards to put as much pressure and create turnovers, and they did a decent job of it tonight.”
NORTHSIDE 65, PORT ALLEN 62: Northwestern State signee Ishmael Lane gave Port Allen (12-1) a 46-35 lead at the 3:31 mark of the third quarter before the Pelicans took a 48-43 edge into the final quarter.
Northside pulled to within 54-52 with a 17-8 spurt over the first four minutes and later trailed 62-61 with 52 seconds after Trevor Breaux’s 3-pointer.
The Vikings took its first lead when guard Joe Delacroix, who scored nine of his 12 points in the last six minutes of play, stripped Nigel Allen and scored on a layup with 32 seconds left.
Northside then forced a turnover on Port Allen’s next possession, hustling to secure a loose ball and calling atimeout with 8.9 seconds to go.
Jonte Morrison, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half, made a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds left before Allen’s potential tying 3-pointer hit off the front of the rim.
Allen led Port Allen with 19 points. Lane and Jordan Morgan each scored 16.
“I told the kids at half we hadn’t played our best ball and they gave it a pretty shot,” Rix said. “It was our game to win. We were in perfect position. We were down but I always felt we were in the game.”
LCA 68, McKINLEY 58: LCA scored the first nine points and led 17-7 after one quarter and extended that to 33-16 at halftime.
McKinley (4-5) responded with a 7-0 run to begin the second half with Tyrese Radford scoring four of his 12 points, but the Panthers couldn’t get any closer than 46-34 after the third quarter.
LCA’s 12-4 surge in the fourth quarter resulted in a 58-38 advantage on Jacob LeDoux’s three-point play with 5:21 left.
LeDoux (23) and his twin brother Kalob (17) accounted for 40 points before McKinley made things interesting with a 16-6 run the next three minutes, cutting the lead to 64-56 on consecutive 3-pointers from Donald Hunter and a putback from Sam Sanders.
Kieon Brown topped McKinley with 18 points.
“Because of the way we play, things like that are going to happen,” Starks said. “All in all it ended well with a couple of steals that we were able to get out on and get some easy baskets that expanded the lead.”