By Robert Wilson

       Madison-Ridgeland Academy senior point guard and Ole Miss signee Josh Hubbard’s brilliant high school career is coming to an end, and he had one of his best weeks of it last week.

       The 5-foot-11 Hubbard became Mississippi’s career leading scorer and also won a state championship.

       Hubbard scored 28 points to lead MRA to a 55-54 victory over Presbyterian Christian School in the MAIS Class 6A state semifinals to become the all-time leading scorer in Mississippi history then scored 21 points in a 38-33 victory over defending 6A and Overall Tournament champion Jackson Prep in the 6A state championship game.

       For his performance last week, Hubbard has been named the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.

       Hubbard – who made 12 of 18 shots from the field and had 3 assists and 1 rebound in the PCS win – broke a 37-year-old scoring record, held by Robert Woodard, who scored 4,274 points for Houlka from 1981-1986. Hubbard, who has started at MRA since the eighth grade, has now scored 4,298 points during his career. He passed the record on a driving layup with 1 minutes, 40 seconds to play.

Hubbard – who 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 – has increased his scoring average each year and is averaging 27.6 points per game this season. He is also averaging 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists and shooting 50 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from 3-point range.

Hubbard became the leading scorer in MAIS history last season when he passed Ken Coghlan, who scored 3,168 points from 1977-1980 at East Rankin Academy.

       Hubbard was recognized after the game for his historic accomplishment. PCS head of school Dr. Allen Smithers presented Hubbard with a ball as Hubbard and his parents (Jason and Betty Hubbard) were on the floor with him.

“Who would have thought back when Robert scored 4,274 points that anyone would ever break his record, but Josh has had a great career and it is quite an accomplishment to be talked about with players like Robert and Monta Ellis (who now is third in Mississippi history and scored 4,167 points for Lanier from 2001-2005),” said MRA coach Richard Duease, who has won a Mississippi record 1,798 combined games (1,206 boys and 592 girls), 41 state championships and a MAIS record 15 Overall titles (13 boys and two girls) in 48 seasons, the last 41 at MRA and is the second winningest active boys basketball coach in the country.

“I was working at the Mississippi State basketball camp when Robert was there. Bob Boyd was the head coach at State, and I worked with John Brady, Kermit Davis and Larry Eustachy at the camp. Robert was a great player. State would get some of the best players in the South and Robert was among the best there was.

“I’m so proud of Josh and his career. He has gotten better every year. He has great confidence and believes he can make every shot. Josh is a scorer and is a threat when he crosses halfcourt. He has kept his body healthy and used his strength and speed to score and has avoided serious injuries during his career.”

Woodard wasn’t able to attend the game Friday night but hopes to get together with Hubbard during the Overall Tournament at Mississippi College in Clinton. MRA plays Madison St. Joseph Friday at 7:15 p.m. in a first-round game.

“This was a record in our state I really didn’t think would ever be broken,” said Ole Miss coach Davis, who flew down to Hattiesburg to watch Hubbard break the scoring record. “You have to be such a good player so early in your career and Josh did that. Plus, you have to sustain such a high standard throughout your career and stay healthy. On top of that, Josh has impacted winning at such a high level for Richard and MRA. We are all very proud of Josh and how well he represents our state of Mississippi.”