Carver claims second straight boys basketball state title with 34-25 win over Madison Prep

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Carver boys basketball

LAKE CHARLES – George Washington Carver has been a standard bearer in Orleans Parish boys basketball the last four years.

This season, the Rams seniors wanted to make their own mark on that growing legacy.

Carver set the tone on defense and imposed their will on Madison Prep to win a secons consective state championship with a 34-25 victory Saturday afternoon to claim the Division II Select State Championship at the Burton Complex.

Jayce Depron and Dylan Dominique scored a pair of layups to give Madison Prep an early 4-2 lead but the Chargers trailed the rest of the game. Carver (24-10) went on a 7-0 run as Daijon Leatherman scored a pair of buckets and Ken’wyion White knocked down a three-pointer.

“We waited for our time and we just stayed the course,” said White. We listened to our coaches and believed in each other. We had to trust each other, step into our new roles and becoming a leader.”

Madison Prep (32-3) bounced back with a jumper by Hezekiah Dantzler and a put back layup by Christopher Lindo. A breakaway dunk by Joshua Smith cutting the Rams lead to 15-13 at the half.

Carver created breathing room in the thurd quarter with a 14-2 run. Leatherman and Jaylon Hicks scored a pair of driving layups while Lawrence Nathan scored at the rim to give the Rams their biggest lead, 29-15.

When Carver went on a four-minute slump, Madison Prep could not make up the deficit in the fourth quarter. The Chargers made 5-of-7 free throws and drew within eight at 31-23 but it wasn’t enough. Nathan made 3-of-4 free throws late to help put the game away.

“We had a chance to rewrite history and we went after it,” said Hicks. “We’re proud of our team, coaches, and staff. We faced adversity and we kept going. I believed in my team and they believed in me. They doubted us but we kept going making us victorious.”

The Rams held Madison Prep to 16 percent shooting and out rebounded the Chargers 50 to 26.

Carver had two players scoring in double figures. Hicks was the Most Outstanding Player of the game with 10 points, six rebounds and two assists. White finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

“It feels unbelievable having a program that people don’t respect. Nobody believed in these players but they came back and finished the job,” said GW Carver Head Coach Nate Roche. “I just want to keep on building, growing as a coach, impacting the community, and produce athletes that could play on a high level. We’re excited to do the work that we do.”

Smith led Madison Prep with 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Depron finished with six points and four rebounds.

“Carver out toughed us tonight and that’s why they deserved to win. The rebounding disparity was the difference in the game,” said Madison Prep Head Coach Jeff Jones. “We never shot the ball consistently this bad. With us not able to hit shots and never be able to get a lead, it was hard to get them out the zone.”

George Washington Carver is the second Orleans Parish School to win two straight state titles in boys basketball. Landry-Walker went back-to-back in 2014-2015. The Rams won the program’s third state title.

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