It took Madison Prep’s Jharon Whitfield all of three seconds to give the Chargers a lead in Saturday’s second round matchup with Baker at the East Baton Rouge/Bob Pettit/Coca-Cola Basketball tournament.
The rest of the night was spent adding on to his effort.
No. 2 seed Madison Prep started defense of its tournament crown with the most prolific offensive output though the first two days of competition in a 86-46 win over No. 7 Baker, sending MPA to the semifinals for the third straight year.
“(Baker coach James Holmes) had those kids ready to play in the first quarter, and I think that caught us off guard a little bit,” Madison Prep coach Jeffery Jones said. “We settled down in the second quarter, played better defensively and kind of got some easy buckets in transition and tough shots that we were fortunate to get.”
Madison Prep was out to a 46-25 lead by halftime as the Chargers seemingly ran everything through junior Josh Anderson on offense.
Anderson started the game going 6-of-6 from the field and scored 17 first-half points. He finished the night with 19 points — second-most of any player on day two — on 7-of-9 shooting after largely sitting the bench once the game was securely in hand.
Sunday was only Anderson’s fourth game back from a broken wrist , which kept him out through the early portion of the season.
“Josh is just rounding into form,” Jones said. “He was out best player before he left, so I was just happy to see him come in and knock some shots down and get some things going.”
Baker spent most of the night fighting in the paint, scoring 14 of its 16 first-quarter points from down low.
Holmes said he was impressed by his team’s willingness to fight against such a good team, but ultimately it was Madison Prep’s length that got to the Buffaloes.
Baker’s Charles Harris scored 12 points — all in the first half.
“It was their length and the fact they were getting second and third chances on rebounds,” Holmes said. “But I’m proud of my kids and ready to see how we respond tomorrow.”
The Chargers move on the the semifinals against Jones’ old program, No. 6 Glen Oaks. The Panthers pulled off the tournament’s only upset so far in a 52-45 win over No. 3 McKinley.
SCOTLANDVILLE 69, CENTRAL 34: Scotlandville’s meeting with Central wasn’t any closer as the Hornets cruised into the semifinals.
Top-seeded Scotlandville battered Central on the inside and held the Wildcats to the lowest point total of the second round.
“Every night we preach defense,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “That’s our motto. That’s our main ingredient every year. Defend, defend, defend.”
The Hornets’ big man, Garrick Green, was a force in the paint all night, recording three of Scotlandville’s seven blocks, almost all of which came in the second half.
Green also scored 11 points, while Ja’Vonte Smart had 17 and LaMarq Williams added 12.
Scotlandville meets No. 4 Belaire in the tournament semifinals, where it lost to McKinley last season.
“It was a good game to get the jitterbugs out, the turkey out, and then come out and try to get some rhythm before going into the next few games,” Sample said.