A best two out of three? It sure turned out that way for the Madison Prep boys basketball team.
Less than two weeks after winning the Class 1A state title, the Chargers claimed the top two honors on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 1A All-State team.
Senior guard Brandon Sampson was voted the Outstanding Player on the 1A squad, while MPA coach Jeff Jones garnered Coach of the Year from a panel of sportswriters from across the state.
“I knew after that three-point loss to Country Day (in the 2014 1A final) I had to be a better leader,” Sampson said. “That’s what it really came down to in that game was being a better leader. I had to be the guy who worked the hardest at practice and did all the right things. I had to have the best attitude. It (1A MVP) is a big honor and great to see all the goals I had and we had as a team come true.”
The 6-foot-5 Sampson, who is committed to St. John’s, averaged 15.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for the Chargers, who were unbeaten in Louisiana and 35-1 overall, losing only to Mississippi power Calloway in a November tournament.
He is the second MPA player to grab LSWA MVP honors. Former Charger and LSU player Jarell Martin was the MVP when Madison Prep won the Class B title two years ago.
“Last year I don’t think (Sampson) understood everything it took to get it (winning a state title) done,” Jones said of Sampson. “This year he did, and he was determined.”
Jones referred to his selection as 1A Coach of the Year as a “blessing.” The former Glen Oaks assistant coach has led the Chargers to two state titles over the past three seasons and four state tourney appearances in the school’s five-year history.
“A lot of people look at the outside and say ‘Oh, you’ve got talent,’ ” Jones said. “It’s not easy to coach talent. It’s tough to manage attitudes and personalities. Getting kids to buy into things is not easy in this day and time. A lot goes into it.”
The Madison Prep duo shares top honors on the with a duo from North Central High, which won the first state title in school history in any sport.
Robertson of North Central and Sampson were named the Outstanding Player honors in 1A title games.
Robertson, who helped the Canes reach the Top 28 four times, averaged 24.7 points and 17.3 rebounds per game. Taylor led the Canes to an impressive 30-3 overall record, which included the Canes ending the season on a 20-game win streak.
Teammate Christion Thompson of Madison Prep grabbed second-team honors with averages of 12. 1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists.
The girls first team also included Skylar O’Bear, who led White Castle to the 1A semifinals for the first time since 2010, had averages of 18.9 points, five assists and 4.6 steals. Madison Prep’s Sherry Porter, who averaged 21 points per game, was part of the girls second team.
The girls first team also included Vermilion Catholic’s Ashailee Brailey (24 points, six rebounds, six assists, five steals), Merryville’s Andrea Cournoyer (34.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists) and West St. John’s Maya Trench (12.9 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals).
The boys first team consisted of Lafayette Christian’s Kalob LeDoux (16.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists), Country Day’s J.C. Younger (17.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists), Arcadia’s Eric Brown (17.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals) and Northwood-Lena’s Michael Layssard (20.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks).