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Photos by Chris Todd
Story By Robert Wilson

Madison-Ridgeland Academy junior guard Josh Hubbard’s MAIS career record-setting point was classic Hubbard – a 28-foot, 3-point jumper from a few feet from MRA coach Richard Duease on the MRA sidelines and jumping from Duease’s signature on Richard Duease court at MRA in Madison.

With the former record holder in attendance – Ken Coghlan of East Rankin Academy who scored 3,168 points from 1977-80 and held the record for 42 years – Hubbard scored 31 points in MRA’s 91-51, victory over Tunica Academy Wednesday night in the first round Overall Tournament to become the new MAIS career scorer with 3,180 points with more than a year left to play.

Hubbard passed Coghlan with his 21st point with 6 minutes, 50 seconds to play in the third quarter, Hubbard’s first shot of the second half. He also had seven assists and seven rebounds.

Hubbard left the game with 1:18 to go in the third quarter. He scored 18 points in the first half and finished the game with three 3-pointers. He has scored 1,100 points this season. If Hubbard continues his pace – he’s averaging 28.9 points per game this season – next year he could have shot of becoming Mississippi’s all-time career leading scorer. Robert Woodard has the record with 4,274 points from 1982-86 at Houlka High. Monta Ellis is second with 4,167 from 2001-2005 at Lanier High.

Hubbard has increased his scoring average every season,15.3 points in the eighth grade, 18.2 as a freshman, 24.3 as a sophomore and 28.9 as a junior this season. He has made 100 3-pointers this season and 324 for his career. Hubbard has scored 40 or more points four times. His career high is 46 points, including nine 3-pointers, as a freshman against perineal MHSAA Class 6A power Gulfport He made a 3-pointer to win the game at the buzzer.

After Wednesday night’s record-breaking game, Hubbard, Coghlan and Duease met at half court and Hubbard was given a basketball recognizing the historic night.

“It was a special accomplishment,” said Hubbard, a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team who is rated as the No. 1 player in Mississippi and the No. 35 point guard in the country in his class by ESPN. “As an eighth-grader, I would’ve never thought of breaking the record in the future. Seems unrealistic for sure. Thanks to Coach Duease and my past and present teammates, but most importantly I give all the glory to God. It was great meeting Mr. Ken. He told me I had great potential to go far with my talent, and hearing that from him was special.”

Coghlan, now 59, was in attendance along with his mom, Martha Coghlan, and his 11-year-old daughter, Brooke. Coghlan’s 28-year-old son, Walker, lives in Memphis. Coghlan’s wife, Stephanie, passed away 16 months ago.  

“Josh has the potential to play in the NBA,” said Coghlan, who was watching Hubbard play for the first time in person. “I’ve seen and played a lot of basketball over the years. He’s got a long way to go to get there, but he has the tools. He has beautiful, natural shooting motion, he’s strong and can jump out of the gym. Josh has an all-around game, he can shoot, pass, rebound and defend. He doesn’t force things. Josh lets the game come to him. He stays within the offense. I hope they can win Overall. MRA has a great team. It was a delight to be here to see Josh break my record and for me to meet him. My coach (legendary East Rankin coach Billy Rhodes) gave me the green light to shoot and turned us loose. It was run-and-gun. Coach Duease lets his guys play like Coach Rhodes. I have had the record a long time and I’m happy for Josh. I wish him all the best and I’m glad he’s broken the record.  

Coghlan scored his 3,168 career points in three seasons at East Rankin without the benefit of the 3-point shot. Coghlan guesses he made at least 6 to 8 shots from 3-point range per game during his three-year career. He averaged 31.8 points his senior season, won the Class A state tournament, and lost to undefeated Jackson Prep in the semifinals in the Overall Tournament. Coghlan scored 23 points in his final high school game and fouled late in the third quarter against Prep. Prep led by only 8 points when Coghlan fouled out and Prep won 73-58. Coghlan scored 1,399 points and East Rankin finished 39-5. Jim Furlong of the Jackson Daily News wrote “plays like a Pete Maravich clone” and “shoots from 25 feet without hesitation” in his game story of the Prep game.

Coghlan was a freshman at Ole Miss when the Rebels, under Coach Bob Weltich, won the SEC Tournament and played in the first NCAA Tournament in school history in 1981. Coghlan was a backup guard and played in 57 games in four seasons. He played with Ole Miss greats Sean Touhy, and Carlos Clark.

One of the highlights of Coghlan’s high school career was one night playing against former Parklane Academy, Alabama and NFL running back Paul Ott Carruth.

“Paul Ott and another guy guarded me the whole game,” Coghlan said. “I scored 54 points. After the game, I walked over to Paul Ott and we were talking about where he was going to go to college. Then, Bear Bryant walked up. Paul Ott told Coach Bryant I played football. We talked a while and he offered me a football scholarship to Alabama (Coghlan also played football at East Rankin). I still have all the letters he sent me to my house. It was unbelievable.” 

After he finished playing at Ole Miss, Coghlan was a graduate assistant for one season under Lee Hunt at Ole Miss. Then, Coghlan went to law school at Ole Miss. He has practiced law in Atlanta for two years, then in Oxford for 28 years. He retired when his wife passed away and is raising his daughter.

Hubbard and MRA, now 32-6, plays against Class 4A state champion Greenville St. Joseph, 21-2, in the Overall quarterfinals Saturday at 1 p.m. in Greenville.