Comeback lifts Madison Academy to state titlePublished 12:02am Sunday, March 3, 2013
BIRMINGHAM- On Saturday, Madison Academy added a basketball state championship to the one they won in football back in December. The Mustangs were 54-47 winners over Selma-Southside to claim the 3A title, the schools first since 2008 and fifth overall.
Academy trailed Selma-Southside most of the game as two key players missed the game with injuries, point guards Kerryon Johnson and Malik Miller.
Academy trailed 8-5 after one quarter and 27-14 at halftime. A jumper by Selma’s Jeffrey Mack put Selma Southside up 33-16 with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter but after that point leading scorer freshman Josh Langford began to take over the game for Madison Academy.
“Our kids showed a lot of character and a lot of poise,” said Madison Academy coach Andy Blackston afterwards. “We could have tanked it in the halftime locker room but these guys believed in themselves and each other.”
New stars emerged for Blackston to assist Langford as the Mustangs cut the lead to five at the end of the third quarter and tied the game at 44 on a 3-pointer by Chandler Trach with 4:22 left in the fourth. Alex Hairston hit a layup to put Academy up for good at 48-47 with 1:56 left in the game.
Langford hit 4-6 free throws down the stretch and got a key rebound after he blocked a shot to seal the win. He was named Tournament MVP and Nick Haas was named to the All-tournament team.
Haas sparked the Mustangs with two 3-point shots in the third quarter comeback. He also had a key steal and finished with seven points.
Langford struggled in the first half hitting only 2 of 18 shots and had only 6 points.
But the 6-foot-4 freshman phenom did not stay down long. He showed why he is the top prospect statewide in his class as he finished with a game-high 21 points, 19 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and two spectacular assists in the fourth quarter.
“Josh made some unbelievable passes to get his teammates involved,” said Blackston.
“These guys gave it up for each other, they just wanted to win.
“Everybody knows Josh is talented but this was a team effort the second half, everybody contributed and that is what makes me happy as a coach to see so many guys making plays. That is what our program is all about.”
Academy, who had already taken down two-time defending state champion Greensboro on Wednesday, finishes with a 24-10 record.