Madison Prep puts on show, defeats Southern Lab _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Madison Prep coach Jeff Jones is the Class 1A Coach of the Year after guiding his team to a 35-1 record

There’s no need for a scouting report or a film session.

All that’s left for top-seeded Madison Prep and No. 4 Metairie Park Country Day to do is play their Class 1A semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Top 28 tournament.

“We know each other very well,” MPA coach Jeff Jones said. “We’re excited to be in this position to play in another Top 28 … our fourth in a row.

“There are certain givens when you play Country Day. One thing you can’t do is miss free throws.

“You can’t have mental or physical breakdowns either because when you make a mistake they’ll take advantage of it.”

The teams open Wednesday’s five-game session at Burton Coliseum. Game time is 1 p.m. for the rivals who met in last year’s 1A title game with Country Day notching a 50-47 victory.

The Chargers (33-1) are one of two Baton Rouge teams set to take on a defending champion in semifinal action at Burton Coliseum on Wednesday. St. Michael the Archangel (27-6), the 10th seed, meets No. 6 Landry-Walker in a 4A semifinal that closes the five-game schedule at 8 p.m. SMHS is making its first Top 28 appearance.

Madison Prep advanced to the 1A final a year ago after winning a Class B crown in 2013.

The Chargers appeared to be in position to win after a big first half from guard Brandon Sampson. Country Day put the clamps on Sampson and controlled the second half en route to the win.

Madison Prep is no one-trick pony this time around. The Chargers have the horses to be considered as one of the state’s top teams in all classes.

The 6-foot-5 Sampson, a St. John’s signee, averages 15.9 points per game. Rhode Island signee Christion Thompson (12.1), 6-5 sophomore Joshua Anderson (14.2) and Jalen Brown (10.0) also lead MPA.

Country Day (22-7) is led by J.C. Younger with a 16.0 scoring average. Guard Michael Corchiani (14.0), post player Walker Bright (10.5) and guard Romin Williams (10.5) provide balance for the Cajuns.

The teams played each other in past regular seasons, but not this year. Jones doesn’t expect the lack of a regular season game to change that.

By contrast, it has been a year of firsts for St. Michael. The Warriors placed second to a Plaquemine team, which was eliminated in the quarterfinals, in District 6-4A. St. Michael ousted traditional power Peabody in the quarterfinals to advance.

“The big thing for my team right now is that we’re playing with so much confidence,” Hart said. “It’s a great time to be at St. Michael. The school is excited, and I’ve heard from guys I played with back in 1991 and other alumni.

“Obviously, we know (Landry-Walker) is very talented and quick. We’ve gone over all the scenarios of what could face. That’s about all you can do. We have to go in and be focused like we have been.”

Cincinnati signee Jacob Evans leads St. Michael with a 23.4 scoring average. David Ventress (15.4) and Michael Alfred (10.3) are other scoring leaders for the Wariors.

Guard Lamar Peters averages 23.0 points a game for Landry-Walker. Blake Paul, a 6-7 post player, averages 13 points and 15 rebounds for LWHS.