They could be two of the top teams in Class 3A by the time the season ends in March. Madison Prep won a battle of endurance Saturday night.
The Chargers outscored Sophie B. Wright 44-25 in the second half in notching a 65-46 win in the title game of their Rumble on the River tournament.
“Last week we were at their tournament,” MPA coach Jeff Jones said. “We try to work it so that us, Sophie B. Wright and Peabody run into each other a couple of times during the season. It gives us all a chance to see where they are.”
Each team played without at least one injured starter and Madison Prep (7-2) returns just one starter, a factor that made the game all the more interesting. Sophomore Dezeil Perkins scored a team-high 19 points and had five rebounds for MPA.
Senior Jehein Spencer, the lone returning starter, contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Chargers. Damiree Burns led SBW (12-2) with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds.
“I thought both teams played hard,” Sophie B. Wright coach Jason Bertrand said. “We’re not trying to win every game … we’re trying to win in the long run. I think coach (Jones) did a great job and they had more energy than us in the end. I also think they did not want to lose their tournament.”
The loss was Sophie B. Wright’s first to a Louisiana team. The Warriors held the upper hand early. Wright scored the first five points, including a layup by Allen Newton. The Chargers cut the lead to one two times in the first eight minutes.
Sophie B. Wright scored the final six points of the quarter and led 14-7. Madison Prep closed the gap quickly. The Chargers tied it at 14-14 on a layup by Perkins at the 4:20 mark.
Elijah Tate gave MPA a 16-14 lead a short time later. The Chargers led by as much as five points. SBW went more than six minutes without a field goal but managed to cut the lead to 23-21 by scoring three times in the final 1:16 of the half.
The second half turned into another ballgame. MPA outscored the Warriors 20-8 in the third quarter to take control. Perkins had 7 points in that period.
“We wanted to come out focused and ready to protect our house,” Spencer said. “We want to focus on being the best team we can be.”
“I had a big role tonight,” Perkins added. “The game slowed down for me some. I just let it come to me.”
Jones flashed as a smile as he listened to his players describe their night.
“We knew against a team like that the margin for error would be small,” Jones said. “We had several young guys step up.”