It will be teacher vs. pupil and burgeoning power vs. traditional powerhouse when Glen Oaks travels to Madison Prep on Tuesday night.
“When I first took the job at Madison Prep, we talked about not playing each other,” Madison Prep coach Jeffery Jones said. “And we still talk all the time. Once our game is over, I’m always calling to check to see how Glen Oaks does.
“And coach (Harvey) Adger calls to see how we do. I still get advice from him. It’s fair to say I pull for Glen Oaks all year, except for this one night.”
Glen Oaks (6-4) takes on Madison Prep (18-2) in a boys basketball game set for approximately 7 p.m. that helps highlight Tuesday’s Baton Rouge schedule.
Jones, a Glen Oaks graduate, spent a decade as an assistant to Adger at GOHS and was on staff when the Panthers won the Class 4A state title in 2005. Last season, Jones’ team, led by LSU signee Jarell Martin, advanced to the Class B semifinals.
This time around, the 6-foot-9 Martin is averaging 20 points and 16 rebounds a game. Brandon Sampson (6-4) is next at 15.0 points per game, followed by 6-3 Chad Williams at 12.0.
The Chargers have not lost to a Louisiana team and have lost to two nationally ranked teams at out-of-state tournaments. Such a challenge with a lineup that includes one 6-4 starter is a lofty one for Glen Oaks.
“This is a chance for us to challenge ourselves and get better,” Adger said. “We didn’t have an offseason program because so many of our guys go the AAU basketball route.
“So at this point we’re still looking to develop that chemistry and bond. It’s coming together, but it takes some time. Our kids know each other, and they’re excited about it.”
Glen Oaks was a 3A semifinalist last season. The Panthers are led by 6-4 Chris Thomas, who is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Chris Dancy (6-1) adds 12.0 points per game and 5-8 point guard Jalen Variste contributes 10.0 points a game.
A year ago, Glen Oaks hosted Madison Prep and came away with a win. Jones wants to see what a difference a year has made. He’s also wants to see how his team handles hosting a big game at its new gym.
“Last year, I don’t think we were ready for the atmosphere a game like this one brings,” Jones said. “This is a chance to see how far we’ve come.”