Despite suffering an early injury, Jarrell Martin recorded a double-double as Madison Prep Academy rolled past Rapides High School 78-61 in its home opener to remain undefeated.
“We were overcome with emotion with our first game in this arena this season,” Madison Prep coach Jeremy Jones said. “But afterwards we settled down and were able to play our game.”
Martin, who committed to LSU earlier this month, had to leave the game late in the first quarter after injuring his right thumb following an emphatic dunk. During a timeout, the 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward went into the locker room and came back out midway through the second quarter with his thumb taped up.
He finished the game with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
“He bent his nail back on the rim on one of the dunks,” Jones said of Martin’s injury. “When he is on the floor we are a better team. Once he came back, he gave us a real shot in the arm.”
MPA (5-0) freshman point guard Delvon Spann and Rapides (3-4) shooting guard Chad Williams had a game-high 17 points.
“He played his butt off today,” said Rapides coach Travis Broussard of Blue. “He got his mouth bloodied a little bit but still played hard and got off some good shots.”
With Martin leaving the game, the middle opened up for Rapides, which led to a late first-quarter spurt that allowed the Mustangs to pull within a point at the end of the first quarter.
But Madison Prep came out of the break to start the second half with a 7-2 run that was spearheaded by Spann.
Just as Martin returned from the locker room, Spann sank a corner 3-pointer to give the Chargers a 25-19 lead.
“For a freshman, Spann stepped up on the stage and hit some big shots,” said Jones. “I was glad to see he could come in and hold the line for us when we needed him to.”
Spann hit two more 3-pointers as part of his 11 second-quarter points to give Madison Prep a 38-29 halftime lead.
The Chargers cranked up the defensive pressure in the second half with a half-court press that triggered a quick 9-2 run and gave them a 14-point advantage early in the third quarter. A steal and layup by Brandon Samson to give MPA a 60-46 lead ended a third quarter that saw the Mustangs commit 12 turnovers.
“Their pressure bothered us a little bit in the second half,” said Broussard. “We didn’t do a good job of executing what we worked on in practice.
“There are about eight or 10 possessions that I wish we could have back.”
Rapides tried to make a late comeback with a 5-0 spurt that was started with a Williams 3-pointer, but they found themselves quickly infoul trouble that allowed MPA to seal the game at the free throw line.