Madison Prep didn’t need any late game heroics to secure a place in the final of its tournament.
After outscoring Port Allen 18-6 in the second quarter, the Chargers had all the room they needed to cruise to a 69-44 win over the Pelicans in the semifinals of the Madison Prep Boys Basketball Classic.
West Jefferson and Madison Prep will play in the final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Northside and Port Allen will play in the third-place game.
“We’ve lost several close games this year, and these guys knew they had to pick it up,” Madison Prep coach Jeffrey Jones said. “They really made the corrections themselves. It’s easy when your guys already know what you want done before you say, ‘Do it.’ ”
All night it seemed like junior forward Jamel Robinson was the Chargers’ go-to man, racking up a game-high 19 points on a 70-percent shooting, including sinking 5-of-6 in the second half.
But Jones said it was actually a player who didn’t produce a single point who impressed him the most Friday night.
“A big part of the game (Friday nigh) was Marquis Browder,” Jones said. “He took two or three offensive fouls on their best player, Nigel Allen. When Marquis Browder got in the game and took Nigel Allen out of the game, that took all the wind out of their sails.”
In the second half, Allen failed to take a single shot, putting the bulk of the offensive load on the shoulders of Andre Williams.
Williams handled the extra workload well, though, with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field.
“I thought my players played the best they could under the conditions they were dealt,” said Port Allen coach Brandon Ricard who was frustrated with several calls throughout the game. “We won the first quarter, and it was through adversity. They fought the best they could.”
West Jefferson 53, Northside 49: Unlike their final opponent, West Jefferson did need to pull off a bit of a comeback in its semifinal matchup.
The Buccaneers (11-2) reeled off a 7-0 run against Northside over the course of about two and a half minutes near the end of Friday’s game to secure a win.
West Jefferson had been slowly chipping away at the deficit before the streak, but finally pulled ahead when Casey Ransow hit a 3-pointer with about three minutes to play.
“I wanted it to be a tough game. I wanted it to be a tough situation … and the guys stuck together and they fought and they executed at the end,” West Jefferson coach Brian Simmons said. “We didn’t make good reads in the first half, but the guys just found their way.”
West Jefferson’s Ray Anderson led the charge with 14 second-half points, including six consecutive free throws in the game’s final minutes.
Anderson finished with 18 points on 6-of-14 from the field while Ransow chipped in another 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
Northside (6-4) had three players score in the double digits, topped by Brandon Ellis with 15 points. As a team, the Vikings shot 50 percent from the field.