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Story by Robert Wilson
Photos by Robert Smith
Jackson Prep girls came out motivated and intentional Friday night against Madison-Ridgeland Academy. Even Prep coach Michael McAnally seemed more intense than usual.
Losses will do that.
Prep avenged one of its only two losses this season with a 37-20 victory over MRA in a MAIS Class 6A conference game at Prep in Flowood.
Prep improved to 27-2 – 6-1 in league play and tied with Hartfield Academy for first place. Prep won its fifth straight game since the 31-30 loss to MRA on Jan. 11 when junior guard Ella Wesley Davis drove the lane for the winning layup with 4 seconds to play to hand Prep its second loss this season and break a seven-game winning streak. Prep’s only other loss to at defending MAIS Overall Tournament champion Leake. MRA dropped to 25-4 overall and 4-3 in league play.
Prep got rolling early Friday night, jumped out to a 13-5 lead after one quarter and 23-9 at halftime. Even Prep went scoreless for the first six minutes of the third quarter, MRA couldn’t make much of a dent into the lead.
“I thought our team came out with great energy tonight,” McAnally said. “We were locked in defensively and did a very good job carrying out our game plan on that end. I was really proud of our effort tonight.”
“Prep came out at a different level of speed tonight than they did in the first game we played them,” MRA coach Stephen Force said. “Their intensity, concentrate level and focus was a little bit better than ours and they executed great in the first half. We dug ourselves a hole. We’ve got to find a way to put the ball in the basket. We just couldn’t stay with them tonight.”
Another difference in Friday night was Prep senior forward Madeleine Black, who missed the first game against MRA due to illness. Black had six points and two rebounds and slowed down MRA’s leading scorer, junior forward Riley Hancock.
Prep senior point guard and Alabama-Huntsville signee Andie Flatgard – a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team – had a game-high 11 points.
Hancock had eight points and a game-high seven rebounds.