Madison Prep used its length, strength and balance to wear down Northside and win its Madison Prep Classic on Saturday in the MPA gym.
The Chargers won the championship game 66-51 in just under an hour. It was their second win in two nights over a Lafayette area team after defeating Lafayette High in the semifinals Friday.
Along with their usual outside shooting and guard penetration offense, Madison Prep (12-2) had a stellar game from post player Kuryk Lazard who controlled the area around the basket, was a rebounding force and led his team in scoring with 16 points, scoring four in each quarter.
“We’ve been trying to light a fire under (Lazard) all year,” Madison Prep coach Jeffery Jones said, “and slowly and surely he’s developing. He’s understanding more, and just like any kid, as he has some success, he’s getting better and better. (Saturday) was probably the best I’ve seen him play.
“He was instrumental in us coming out with a win tonight.”
As usual, the Chargers offense was balanced. Their pressure defense and attacking offense creating opportunities for everyone to get scoring chances. Brandon Sampson (12) and Josh Anderson (11) joined Kuryk in double figures.
“We know our guards can carry us so far, and all year we’ve tried to work and get some more points down low. And tonight that kind of came to fruition,” Jones said.
Even though both teams brought defensive pressure, and there was plenty of scrapping and bumping all over the court, neither team ever got to the bonus at the free-throw line. Madison Prep had 3-pointers from Sampson (two), Anderson, and Christian Thompson to take a 22-16 lead after one quarter, and stretched the margin to 28-18 early in the second quarter for their first 10-point lead.
Darius Randall’s 14-point second half helped Northside (9-4) stay within striking range for a while, helping it pull within seven midway through the third quarter. Then two straight fast breaks off turnovers, one ending with an alley-oop slam by Sampson, and a coast-to-coast steal and breakaway basket by Anderson pushed the lead back to 41-30, and Northside would not threaten again.
Northside coach Ross Rix said earlier in the week his team was inexperienced, and he noted again that he has only one starter, point guard Brandon Ellis, with any experience.
“We fought to the end,” he said, “and I’m proud of my guys for that. We’ve played four games in a row and we need some rest, but we’ll be ready to come back on Tuesday. We came here for the experience, and I feel like we had a good tournament.”
It was the third straight year in the Classic finals for the Vikings, who won the tournament in 2013 and finished second to Madison Prep the other two.
Randall finished with two 3-pointers and 18 points for Northside. Joe Delacroix and Jonte Morrison chipped in nine points apiece.