Madison Prep broke from the gate like a team with a purpose to run up an early lead against Lafayette and held the Lions at bay the rest of the way to put itself in the final of its Madison Prep Classic on Friday night.

The Chargers took a 12-3 lead in the early game and never led by fewer than five the rest of the way in taking a 79-58 win in the first game with coach Jeffery Jones called a “bounceback game” after his team’s first-round win over New Iberia.

Madison Prep’s opponent in the final will be Northside, a 61-60 winner over Lafayette Christian in a battle to the buzzer in Friday’s late semifinal game. The championship game is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.

MADISON PREP 79, LAFAYETTE 58: The first game was one to make Madison Prep fans happy — an up-and-down game against a quality opponent with lots of scoring and lots of big plays. Madison Prep (11-2) took a 23-10 lead after the first quarter before the Lions began to find the range.

The first half turned into a shooting match between the Chargers’ Brandon Sampson (20 points in the half, 27 for the game) and Lafayette’s Corey Davis (17 for the half and 21 for the game). The Lions narrowed the gap to 35-30 on a Keandre Broussard tip-in and Madison Prep led 43-38 at halftime.

The third quarter was the Lions’ undoing as Davis turned cold, failing to score in the quarter, and they were outscored 21-12.

“That was our emphasis at halftime, to get some stops,” Jones said. “Lafayette is one of the best 5A teams in the state, with a great shooter in Corey Davis, and coach (Clifton) Brown does a great job with them.

“The thing I liked best about our effort was that we fought. After we were flat last night, I challenged our seniors to help get us off to a fast start, and they did that.”

Christian Thompson followed Sampson in scoring with 17 which included two three-point plays in the second half, the second one giving his team its first 20-point lead of the night at 71-50.

Josh Anderson added 16 and Jalen Brown 10 for the Chargers.

Davis was the only Lion in double figures. Deontre Johnlouis added eight points and Broussard had seven.

NORTHSIDE 61, LAFAYETTE CHRISTIAN 60: The second game lacked the fireworks of the first through the first half, and Northside rolled to a 33-17 halftime lead. Then, just as it was in the first game, the third quarter proved to be pivotal. The Knights opened with a 10-2 run quarter, and Greg Williams’ three-point play closed the gap to 35-27.

Jacob LeDoux had a 3-pointer and a three-point play, and Lafayette Christian (8-2) outscored the Vikings 26-12 to pull within 45-43 at the end of three periods.

The Knights finally pulled even at 57 on a dunk off a steal by Jacob LeDoux late in the game, but Northside (9-3) was able to make enough late free throws to hold on for the win.

“I aged about 30 years in the last five minutes,” Northside coach Ross Rix said, “but a win is a win, and we’ll take it.”

Jacob LeDoux finished with 24 points, followed by Williams with 15 and Kaleb LeDoux with 10. Northside had 15 from Brandon Ellis, 14 from Jonte Morrison, and 13 from Joe Delacroix.