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Posted On: 12/26/17 10:13 PM
Madison Prep is still reeling a bit from the loss of Josh LeBlanc until early February. They are still figuring out a good set of rotations, but the one they found for a win in the championship over LCA looked better than the one earlier in the week against Westgate. Madison Prep elected to go smaller and get some extra shooting on the floor by starting sophomore Malik Gray, and that was able to open up the floor a bit more. It certainly helped Kobe Julien who finished with a game high 23 points. He was able to get into lane, as well as score in the post, in large part because LCA couldn’t send a double team with all of the scoring on the floor for Madison Prep.
When 1 of their big 3 in Greg Williams, KT Thibodaux, and TJ Jones aren’t scoring, how can they find a way to make up the slack? Don’t get me wrong, LCA is still one of the most talented teams in the state when it comes to offense, so I have no doubt that this issue won’t come up much, but if they want to repeat as state champions it will need to. In times like this, the ball movement is all the more important, and there were too many possessions for the Knights with 2 or fewer passes.
U-High started the season a bit rough, losing games to Broadmoor and Dutchtown, both of which are a bit out of character for a team that consistently competes for state titles. However, since getting back their football players, most notably Bryton Constantin, their only losses have been to Madison Prep and Carencro, and U-High was able to avenge their loss to Carencro in the 3rd place game of the Showcase Classic. Constantin brings size and a level of toughness that helps win big games down the stretch.
U-High went up by over 10 at one point in the game, and with a team as well coached and disciplined as U-High, that usually means the game is over. However, Braylon Chaisson was able to go on a big run in the 3rd and 4th that made the game much more competitive. U-High was in a 2-3 zone, and it was a great coaching move to keep going back to the same play that worked that was able to get Chaisson the ball on the block or short corner and letting Chaisson go to work, which worked more often than it didn’t.
This was the 3rd annual edition of the Showcase Classic at LCA, and it has constantly gotten better every single season. This year’s tournament featured some of the best players in the state, and 4-5 teams that have a legitimate shot at a state championship this March. It will be tough, but I expect this event to keep getting better and better.