East Baton Rouge girls basketball tournament highlights prep slate _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Madison Prep's Sherry Porter makes a layup for two of her 36 points against Southern Lab.

In just its third year of varsity girls basketball, Madison Prep is turning heads and is the top seed in this week’s East Baton Rouge Parish girls basketball tournament.

The Chargers (8-0) have already defeated defending tournament champion University, McKinley, Scotlandville and Zachary this season.

“I was surprised we were the top seed because we’re so young,” said Madison Prep coach Dwayne Hayes, who guided his squad to a 28-9 record last season and into the second round of the Class 1A playoffs. “We’re older and more mature this year. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. I really like our depth, and we play 10.”

Madison Prep gets an opening bye and will play the winner of No. 8 Baker vs. No. 9 Glen Oaks at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Belaire. There are seven games Tuesday at two sites — Belaire and McKinley.

Scotlandville is the second seed, defending Class 3A state champion University is the third seed and Zachary is the fourth seed. Tournament semifinals are 4:30 and 6 p.m. Friday, and the championship game is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

University, which lost five seniors from last season, is led by Destiny Ephrom (15 ppg), Kaila Anderson (11 ppg) and Chelsea Verrett (8 ppg).

“Last year was the first time we ever played in the parish tournament, and it was great to win it,” University coach Bonita Johnson said. “We’re limited in numbers this season and have lost a few close games. Getting to play against different styles of teams in this tourney will benefit us down the line.”

Madison Prep is led by 5-foot-7 junior combo guard Sherry Porter (15 ppg) and 5-9 senior forward Alexis Augustus (15 ppg, 8 rpg). Other starters are freshman Kennedi Green (six assists per game) and sophomores Kennedy Moore (7 ppg) and Dezmanique Gaines (9 ppg, 10 rpg).

The EBR girls tournament isn’t the only one on this week’s schedule as Central will host the 37th annual Charles T. Kinsley Memorial tournament. Top-seeded Brusly plays West Feliciana at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Brusly is led by senior Terrance Johnson and junior Darian Jones. Glen Oaks junior Dontrell McQuarter and Central’s Austin Stewart (18 ppg) are other players to watch.

“We are always excited when the Kinsley tournament comes around,” Central coach Brian Hargroder said. “It is one of the oldest tournaments in our area and has always been a first-class event dedicated to a great man who touched so many lives in the Central community.”

Zachary will play the 2 p.m. game Saturday, regardless of where they are in the bracket to allow the Broncos to attend the Class 5A state football finals.

Elsewhere, Denham Springs is the top-seeded girls team and Doyle is the top-seeded boys team in the Livingston Parish tournament. Walker is the second-seeded girls team and Holden is third. Denham Springs is the second-seeded boys team and Live Oak is third.

The tournament begins with four games Tuesday at Live Oak. The girls final is 6 p.m. Saturday and boys final is 7:30 p.m.