By Robert Wilson

       CLINTON – Madison-Ridgeland Academy’s Josh Hubbard showed the crowd at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum Monday afternoon why he is rated as one of the Top 20 point guards in the country in the Class of 2023.

       The 5-foot-11 Hubbard – an Ole Miss signee and MAIS all-time leading scorer – scored a game-high 35 points, including seven 3-pointers, and made 6 of 6 free throw attempts in the final 65 seconds to lead MAIS Class 6A MRA to a 75-69 victory over MHSAA Class 6A Tupelo in the Rumble in the South event, celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

       MRA improved to 23-6 and 9-2 against MHSAA teams this season. Tupelo dropped to 12-7.

       Hubbard is ranked as the No. 1 overall player in Mississippi and No. 69 overall player in country and the No. 17 point guard in the country on ESPN’s 2023 Top 100 and was the 2022 PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Player of the Year.

       He made 11 of 25 shots from the field, 7 of 13 from 3-point range, and 6 of 6 from the free throw line with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Tupelo had tied the score at 69-69 and Hubbard made 6 of 6 free throw attempts and Tupelo missed several shots in the final minute for the final margin.

MRA’s 6-6 senior guard Harrison Alexander had 16 points and 6-5 junior forward Ashton Magee, a transfer from South Jones High, had 13 points and 15 rebounds.

       Hubbard now has a MAIS record 4,047 points and is the third player to score 4,000 points in Mississippi history. Robert Woodard scored a Mississippi-record 4,272 points at Houlka from 1981-86. Monta Ellis is second with 4,167 points at 2001-05 at Lanier. Hubbard, who has started since the eighth grade, became the leading career scorer in MAIS history last season when he passed Ken Coghlan, who scored 3,168 points from 1977-1980 at East Rankin Academy.

MRA coach Richard Duease – the winningest active high school basketball coach the country – won his 1,790th game (1,198 boys and 592 girls) in his 48th season, 41st at MRA. He has won 40 state championships and 15 Overall titles (13 boys and two girls).

London Fields had a team-high 21 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists, Gavin Shannon had 19 points and Dayveun Anderson had 18 points for Tupelo.