Fatigue, foul trouble and a second-half comeback by Donaldsonville were key factors Thursday night at Madison Prep, but the Chargers overcame them all.
At one point, Madison Prep lost all but four points of a 17-point halftime lead. But the Chargers made key free throws down the stretch to hold on for a 52-45 quarterfinal win in Class 3A Thursday night at MPA.
The win advances second-seeded Madison Prep (21-12) to next week’s semifinal round at Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria. The Lady Chargers will play No. 3 Albany, a 70-36 winner over Caldwell Parish.
“We got too comfortable, and that caused us to be in that situation at the end,” said MPA coach Dwayne Hayes, whose team won 65-53 at Donaldsonville on Feb. 1.
Tarneisha Young topped the Lady Chargers with 20 points while Makayla Marshall and Destiny Ellis each added 13.
Madison Prep led 37-15 midway through the fourth quarter when Donaldsonville (23-8) began its comeback. Quinntryce Bell hit a 3-pointer, and then made all three free throws after being fouled on another attempt.
Daija Harvey, who scored 17 for Donaldsonville, hit a 3-pointer and the MPA lead was down to 37-24 entering the fourth quarter.
The Lady Chargers led 47-37 after an inside basket by Ellis, but Donaldsonville scored the next six points to get within 47-43 with two minutes left to play. Madison Prep sandwiched four free throws, both ends of two one-and-ones, around Harvey’s missed 3-pointer to take control for good.
“That’s one of the main things we’ve been working on – making free throws and finishing at the end,” Hayes said. “I’m just glad we were able to do that or else a lot of things could have been different.”
In the early going, Bell’s jumper gave Donaldsonville a 7-6 lead. Madison Prep, which forced six first-quarter turnovers, went on a 14-2 run, and led 20-9 after one quarter.
The Lady Chargers scored the first six points in the second quarter, and led by 18 points with less than a minute to go in the half before settling for a 31-14 lead at halftime.
“It wasn’t what we wanted in the first half,” Donaldsonville coach Shawaney Joseph said. “If we had come out like we did in the second half we would have had a better chance. We did the same thing when they came to our gym. We tried to pick it up in the second half and it was a little too late.”
Madison Prep has now won 11 consecutive games. For Donaldsonville, the loss snapped its 10-game winning streak.