Sophomore star Josh Hubbard leads MRA boys basketball to big win over Jackson Prep

FLOWOOD — In the first half the Jackson Prep student section was yelling “over-rated” at MRA’s Josh Hubbard.

Well, that was all the sophomore phenom needed to hear.

Behind good guard play from Hubbard and with help of Davis Dalton and Phillip Hughes, Madison-Ridgeland Academy got past Jackson Prep 59-44 in a key MAIS Region 1-5A all-Patriot matchup on Friday night.

“Prep always plays us tough here no matter how they’ve been playing,” said MRA coach Richard Duease. “The first half we were fortunate just to be tied and in the second half we did what we do best which is keep pushing and started making shots.”

In the first quarter, both teams had trouble scoring, but MRA held a 10-9 lead at the end of the opening period.

In the second quarter each team kept trading baskets and the game was tied 26-26 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Hubbard scored nine of MRA’s first 11 points of the quarter, including a thunderous dunk midway through to give MRA a 37-33 lead.

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MRA ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 43-33 and held on from that point.

“When Hubbard made that dunk that gave us a spark and I’m glad to get this win on the road,” Duease said. “All the teams in this league can beat each other, so we’ve go to maintain what we do best every game. Guard hard and run the floor.”

Hubbard finished with a game-high 18 points to lead MRA (17-2, 3-0 MAIS Region 1-5A).

Dalton added 14 points, while Phillip Hughes chipped in 10 points for the Patriots.

“It was a tough struggle through the first half, but we pulled through and made some good adjustments at halftime,” Hubbard said. “If we can speed the game up it’s hard to beat us, so I just had to be patient and let the game come to me and in the third quarter I was able to make shots.”

Cam Brent had 14 points to lead Jackson Prep (8-8, 1-2).

GIRLS: JACKSON PREP 43, MRA 39

It was a tale of two halves for Jackson Prep.

Josie Duncan made a pair of free throws with seven seconds left as Jackson Prep held off a late MRA rally 43-39 in a key MAIS Region 1-5A all-Lady Patriot matchup.

“The girls battled throughout, but we didn’t take our advantages of putting the game away when we had our chances,” said Jackson Prep coach Michael McAnally. “We had to play through some missed layups and free throws and the girls kept fighting and came away with the win.”

Jackson Prep (17-2, 3-0 MAIS Region 1-5A) never trailed the entire game.

Prep held a 26-14 lead at halftime and a 37-28 lead at the end of the third quarter.

But with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Prep up 41-39, MRA’s Riley Hancock had two layups roll off the rim and Duncan grabbed the rebound after the second one and made the two free throws to seal the win.

Andie Flatgard had a game-high 22 points to lead Jackson Prep.

“Andie had the hot hand tonight and she carried us. A win is a win in this conference and we’ll take it,” McAnally said. “JA and MRA have had our number the past few years in the regular season and we want to get one of the byes in the state tournament and it starts by beating those two.”

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