Helen Cox shocks Madison Prep, 70-62

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Madison Prep is one of the best, if not the best team in Louisiana. The defending Class 2A state champions are as formidable as ever.

Someone forgot to tell Helen Cox.

The Cougars jumped all over the Chargers early and then held off a furious second half rally to win 70-62 in the opening round of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic at The Alario Center Tuesday afternoon. Madison Prep was the fourth-seed while Helen Cox was the 13th-seed.

“I told them not to worry about the name on the front of their jersey,” said Helen Cox head coach Tyron Mouzon. “They’ve been a very good program for several years. We have been as well. We may have taken a little dip but we are back competing hard and doing the right thing.”

The Cougars got off to a great start. After trailing 2-0, the Cougars went on a 10-0 run to lead 10-2 and closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to take an 18-6 lead after one quarter. Derrick Castine had a pair of 3-pointers to lead Helen Cox with six points. The 2-0 lead was the only lead of the game for Madison Prep.

Helen Cox (13-5) continued its inspired play in the second quarter, expanding the lead go 38-22 at the break. Brandon Allen had nine points in the quarter and 11 in the half to lead the Cougars while Castine had 11 in the half.

The Chargers came charging back in the third quarter, forcing nine turnovers with relentless pressure and closing the quarter on a 12-0 run to cut the deficit to 50-47 going to the final quarter.

Madison Prep (11-3) finally pulled even at 52-52 but a basket by Isaiah Lewis put the Cougars back on top and they never trailed again.

“I told the kids they would make a run and they did,” Mouzon said. “They pressured us a lot but we handled the pressure well and showed poise down the stretch. The close losses we had to Landry-Walker, Jesuit and Plaquemine helped us in this one. We are developing as a team, becoming more unselfish and becoming more fundamentally sound and it showed this evening.”

Isaiah Lewis led Helen Cox with 26 points while Derrick Castine had 18 points, including four 3-pointers and sinking four straight free throws down the stretch. He added eight rebounds. Daelon Murdock and Brandon Allen each had 12 points for the Cougars.

“We just came and played them like anyone else we would play,” Lewis said. “We were not worried about who they were. We just came and played our game and played well enough to win. We played lights out in the first half. We played our roles perfectly. We came out and got the job done. We never doubted, never got our heads down when they came back. We just got tougher and got the win. We’ve played a lot of close games so we were used to it.”

Division I recruit Kobe Julien led Madison Prep with 27 points and seven rebounds, Jahein Spencer had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Jharon Whitfield finished with 12 points for the Chargers.

The Cougars lost three games by two points or less previously, including a couple in overtime. Being in close games helped this time around and they would not be denied.

Madison Prep advances to the quarterfinals Thursday evening to face the winner of the game pitting Scotlandville against Karr on Wednesday afternoon.

Final
MP 6 16 25 15 62
HC 18 20 12 20 70

Scoring
MP—Kobe Julien 25, Jharon Whitfield 12, Jahein Spencer 11, Tyler Brooks 10, Marcus Guss 2

HC—Isaiah Lewis 26, Derrick Castine 18, Daelon Murdock 12, Brandon Allen 12, Albert Pierre 2

Results from Tuesday, Jan. 2 at Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic

Boys

Sophie B. Wright 64, Jehovah-Jireh 46

Riverside 77, Covington 60

University 67, Dunham 57

Helen Cox 70, Madison Prep 62

Landry-Walker 67, Country Day 36

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