ALEXANDRIA — Madison Prep coach Dwayne Hayes didn’t pull any punches after his team lost 42-38 in the Class 3A title game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girls Basketball tournament Saturday night.
The overtime game was the finish line for the six-day tournament. The word finish was also on the mind of Hayes.
“They didn’t quit; they fought back,” Hayes said. “But they didn’t finish. The factor was that we allowed some 3-pointers to get off that really changed the momentum of the game.”
Title-game MVP Lulu Hookfin and Linsey Ard each hit two crucial 3-pointers in the second half/overtime that helped second-seeded Loranger (25-7) claim the title at Rapides Parish Coliseum.
Ard had 15 points and JaMya Young added 13 for the Wolves, who won their first title since 2000. Hookfin had eight points, including a 3-pointer that gave Loranger its first lead of the second half at 17-16.
“These kids are unbelievable,” Loranger coach Sean Shields said, addressing three players in the postgame interview. “It was all them. Obviously we didn’t get off to a good start. When we went to overtime said, ‘We’re going to need a miracle.’ I don’t know how you did it.”
Kennedi Green scored a game-high 17 points for fifth-seeded Madison Prep (24-11), which played in a title game for the third straight season. Kennedy Moore had 12 points for the Chargers, the 2A champion a year ago before moving up to 3A.
Both teams struggled on offense the first half. Each shot 4 of 21 from the field for 19 percent. Green scored seven of Madison Prep’s 10 first-half points, including a 3-pointer that opened the scoring just 15 seconds after tipoff.
Nearly four minutes later, Loranger’s Young tied it at 3-3 with a basket and a free throw. Madison Prep led 7-5 after one quarter and 10-9 at the half.
The third quarter brought more of the same. But MPA maintained the upper hand. Moore’s runner in the lane gave the Chargers a 16-9 lead with 4:08 remaining.
However, Loranger scored the final 10 points of the quarter and led 19-16 going into the final quarter that saw both teams equal their total number of points from the first three quarters. A basket by Ard with 1:20 left put the Wolves ahead 35-32. Another layup, this one by MPA’s Makayla Marshall with 4.6 seconds to go, sent the game to overtime.
Ard put the Loranger ahead for good with a 3-pointer at the 1:53 mark in OT. Young made 4 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
“This is hard,” MPA’s Moore said. “But as a senior, I’m proud of my team.”