Madison Prep’s 71-55 win over Edna Karr on Friday night was all about efficiency.
Whether it was dominating the boards or being selective about its shots from the perimeter, the Chargers didn’t want a lot of red marks on their stats sheet.
“Tonight was one of those signature wins for us, from the standpoint that we knew (Karr) was an elite-level team we were playing,” Madison Prep coach Jeffery Jones said. “We did a good job of handling that, did a good job of sharing the basketball and we did a good job of defending their shooters.”
The Chargers (19-4) shot 60 percent from the field against the Cougars, including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc — a perfect number of 3-point shots according to Jones, who wanted to focus the team’s attention on their strengths in the paint.
On an individual level, three of Madison Prep’s five players who took at least four shots during the inter-class matchup finished with at least a 50 percent shooting clip.
Josh LeBlanc easily led both teams with 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting, while chipping in six rebounds and a game-high five blocks. The Chargers sent back eight of the Cougars shots in total.
“I feel like I picked it up this game,” said LeBlanc, whose team has won seven straight and 15 of its last 16 games. “I came out with a lot of energy, came out to work. I told myself I wasn’t going to let anybody outwork me this game.”
But even with Madison Prep hitting on almost every cylinder Friday night, it couldn’t keep the Cougars from putting up a fight.
In less than a seven-minute span that stretched from the end of the second quarter to slightly after halftime, Karr erased a 15-point deficit to take a brief lead and make it a close game, if only for a little while.
Karr coach Taurus Howard said some shots were able to fall their way during the run, but the Cougars couldn’t maintain the momentum as the Chargers dominated down low.
Madison Prep out rebounded Karr 34-22, including 10 rebounds by William Lloyd who finished with a double-double.
By the fourth quarter, it looked as if the Cougars (15-10) had simply run out of gas, getting outscored by Madison Prep 21-10 in the final period.
John Maxmillion led the visiting Cougars with 13 points, nine of which came from the perimeter. Vincent Phillips pulled down five rebounds for the team lead, as well.
As a team, Karr shot 21-of-49 from the field in their third loss of the last five games. It’s the fifth time this season the Cougars have fallen to a team from a lower classification.
“They killed us on the boards and that was really the difference in the game,” Howard said. “We played hard, they played hard — we just didn’t do a god job on the boards.”