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Madison Prep shuts down Archbishop Shaw in Division II select semifinal

Chargers pitch first-quarter shutout; Peabody Magnet dethrones defending champion George Washington Carver, 52-48

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA - Madison Prep coach Jeff Jones said a basketball team's offense doesn't always tag along on road trips, which has frequently been the case at the Top 28 Marsh Madness state tournament held at Burton Coliseum. 

The majority of the prep basketball squads (40 in all) in the tourney have struggled to shoot well in the cavernous facility, which Archbishop Shaw coach Wesley Laurendine described as "shooting into the abyss" after the Eagles' loss to Madison Prep on Thursday. 

"Offense doesn't always travel, but defense does," said Jones, whose top-seeded Chargers pitched a shutout in the first quarter before going on to defeat the No. 4 Eagles, 39-28, in a Division II select semifinal.

"We're definitely blessed to be in this spot again. We knew Shaw was going to be a tough opponent. Playing them last year, they've had all year to think about it."

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The Chargers defeated Shaw in last year's semifinal, 46-28, and finished as runner up to George Washington Carver. They'll take on No. 2 Peabody (28-5), which eliminated No. 3 Carver later Thursday, in the finals on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Madison Prep (26-2), which is seeking its eighth state championship, had a game-plan to focus on Shaw senior guard Christian Creppel, who Jones called "a gifted offensive scorer."

Neither Creppel nor any other Eagles found the mark in the first quarter. Shaw (25-3) missed all 13 of its field goal attempts, yet only trailed 6-0 as Madison Prep made 3-of-14 from the field (21%).

"Neither one of us shot well, looking at the stat sheet," Jones said. "We didn't shoot tremendously. We shot 37%. They shot 21%.

"When you're playing for something, everything is not going to be smooth. We know everything is going to be a grind. We've all watched film on each other. It's going to come down to execution. We had eight turnovers in the first quarter."

Donnie Haney, one of eight Prep seniors, scored 10 points with seven rebounds and two steals. Jayce Depron had eight points, four rebounds and a steal.

The Chargers' depth was on display as eight players got into the scoring column. Senior Josh Smith finished with five points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal.

"Josh and Jayce have been playing for four years," Jones said of the LHSBCA all-star duo. "Donnie, who led us in scoring, has been playing for four weeks. He's been in the program for four years. Recently, he became a big contributor for us."

Madison Prep got on a 10-0 run for a 27-9 lead in the third quarter, holding the Eagles scoreless until a 3-pointer by Aidan LaSalle at the 2:30 mark, and led by 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Shaw (25-3) put up a fight, narrowing the margin to nine points on a bucket by freshman forward Tristan Naquin, who scored a team-high nine points with 10 rebounds and two steals.

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"They were in desperation mode and we were in cruise control," Jones said. "I'm just thankful we had a big enough cushion to withstand that and seal the game. Shaw's coach does a great job. We knew they're a detail-oriented group."

In addition to Naquin, LaSalle (eight points), Creppel (seven) and Kobe Butler (four) scored for the Eagles, who made 12-of-56 field goals and were 3-for-20 (15%) on 3-pointers. It was Shaw's third straight semifinal berth.

"We got every look we wanted," Laurendine said. "We were outplaying them on the defensive end. (We missed) four uncontested lay-ups. I'm trying to figure it out. Nothing against Burton, but it's like shooting into the abyss.

"We haven't had good luck here making shots. I don't know what else to do to prepare ourselves. We've gone to coliseums and shot around. How many times has Madison Prep been held to 39 points? Our defense speaks for itself."

Division II select semifinal

Peabody Magnet 52, George Washington Carver 48

There will be a new champion in Division II select as the second-seeded Warhorses from Peabody Magnet knocked off the two-time defending champion and third-seeded Rams of George Washington Carver.

Rashad Mitchell and Jordan Matthews combined for 32 points for Peabody (28-5), which can win a 10th state title on Saturday. Mitchell scored 18 points with two assists, two steals and two rebounds. Matthews finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal.

The turning point came early in the fourth quarter when Carver (24-7) point guard Laurence Nathan fouled out while attempting to draw a charge. Nathan scored 10 points with five rebounds, two assists and a steal.

The Warhorses outscored Carver in the fourth quarter, 14-8.

Daijon Leatherman, a 6-foot-9 center (18 points 12 rebounds, two assists, steal), and the 6-foot-6 Matthews went at it for four quarters with both big men up to the task.

Chesney Sadler added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Rams.

Isaiah Jones scored eight points for Peabody. Zaydrien Sewell made both 3-point tries to finish with six points. Robert Garland had four.

Photo of Madison Prep players (from left) Donnie Haney, Jayce Depron, coach Jeff Jones and Josh Smith

-- Mike Coppage | @SBLiveLA