Photo by Chris Todd

By Robert Wilson

       CANTON – Madison Central coach Tameika Brown might have the best guard combo in Mississippi in senior Lauren Sutton and eighth grader Karley Robinson.

       Sutton and Robinson – both 5-foot-6 – can score from 3-point range, pull up for mid-range jumpers and can drive to the basket. They have exceptional quickness and speed. Both have outstanding court vision and superb passing ability. They can also rebound and play solid defense.

       The combo combined for 41 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, 8 steals and 1 blocked shot to lead Madison Central to a 54-38 victory over Canton Friday afternoon for the Madison County Invitational championship at Canton’s gym.

       Robinson had a career high 24 points, 16 in the first half, with 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 6 steals and 1 blocked shot. Sutton had 17 points, hitting six of seven free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, with 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

       MHSAA Class 7A Madison Central improved to 13-3 and won its fourth straight game. The Lady Jags won all three tournament games by double figures, Yazoo City 48-33 Wednesday in the first round and 2023 MHSAA Class 6A state champion Germantown 53-37 Thursday in the semifinals. 

       MHSAA Class 5A Canton dropped to 13-2 and broke an 11-game winning streak.

Photo by Chris Todd

       Robinson – the daughter of Madison County associate superintendent Kalvin Robinson – is a member of the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team. She is averaging 12.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists this season before the Canton win. Robinson had a triple double (12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds) in the win over Germantown Thursday.

Robinson averaged 10 points. 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 steals, and 3.0 assists, and helped Madison Central to a 18-13 record and the MHSAA Class 6A second round last season as a seventh grader. She was the only seventh grader in MHSAA Class 6A in Mississippi to start last 

Robinson has one Division I offer (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), but Brown expects many more to come later this season and next summer. 

Sutton averages 14.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season before the Canton win. She scored a career high 28 points this season.

Sutton has offers from Tougaloo College, Co-Lin Community College, Hinds CC, Holmes CC, and Southwest Mississippi CC.

“I’m not sure how many teams have two scoring guards, but I’m really proud of both Karley and Lauren,” Brown said. “They are special because of they contribute to our team in a variety of ways. Their leadership on and off the court is vital to our success. They contribute to us in all phases of the game, offense, defense, hustle plays, rebounds and much more. They are both coachable and have a high IQ for the game.”

Canton was led by 6-3 sophomore center Shamira Morton, who had nine points and senior guard Kaniyah Hawkins with eight points. Morton, who was named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Player of the Week this week, came into the week averaging 18.8 points this season.

       “Madison Central looked really good and got contributions from every player who touched the floor,” Canton coach Melissa Word said. “They looked much fresher than we did. I could tell we had gotten tired after playing three nights in a row. Undoubtedly, we played our worst game, but it will not define the rest of the season. We will learn and get better. Hopefully, we will be more motivated as we realize that we will definitely get everyone’s best shot each and every night.”