By Robert Wilson

       The Madison Central High boys basketball team hasn’t won 20 games since the 2012-2013 season. 

       If junior guard Dylan Rowe keeps playing like he did last week, the Jaguars will break through the 20-win barrier very soon.

       The 6-foot-3 Rowe averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds to lead Madison Central to two wins and the MHSAA Class 7A, Region 2 tournament championship last week at Germantown High.

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

       Rowe had 24 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds in a 48-43 victory over Starkville in the semifinals and 13 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds in a 44-36 victory over Clinton in the championship game. 

       “Dylan had an amazing week for us, but if I said I’m surprised it would be a lie,” Madison Central coach Ben Gardner said. “Big players show up in big moments and with the opponents we see night in and night out in our division, the moments don’t get much bigger. Dylan is actually playing with an injury that he picked up against Starkville from two weeks ago and is not quite 100 percent, but you would never know it. He led us in scoring against two of the state’s best defensive teams in Clinton and Starkville during the division tournament. Dylan doesn’t just score; he facilitates everything we do on offense. Over the course of the last two years, it’s been a blast to watch him develop into the player and leader that’s dominating on both ends of the floor. He gets better every day. Dylan’s work ethic and attitude are unmatched. He’s a great teammate who does everything he can to help our team be successful. Dylan has us on the cusp of the first 20-win season for the school since 2013. I’m excited to see where he leads us the next few weeks and into next season.”

       Madison Central went 25-6 and finished runner-up for the state championship in the 2012-2013 season. Even though the Jaguars made the state semifinals and was state runner-up for the next two seasons, they didn’t get 20 wins and haven’t since.

       Rowe has led Madison Central to an 19-10 record going into Saturday’s game at 6 p.m. against Southaven in the first round of the 7A state tournament at Madison Central. He is averaging 16.3 points, 3.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals this season.

       This is Rowe’s second time to earn Player of the Week.

       Rowe averaged 31 points, 9 assists and 5.5 rebounds in two games for the Jaguars, including a career-high 39-point, career-high 12 assist performance in a double-overtime loss to Neshoba Central in mid-December. Rowe, who also seven rebounds against Neshoba Central, had 23 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in a loss to Callaway.

       Rowe is a member of the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team.

       “Dylan impresses in all phases of the game,” Gardner said. “He defends with great intensity, controls the game at the point position, and is developing into a fantastic leader in and out of games. Dylan can dominate a game in so many ways. He’s a solid scorer and passer. Dylan’s tempo is next level, and he is sneaky athletic on both ends of the floor. His work ethic, skill set, and IQ are a joy to watch day in and day out. Dylan is a college ready guard that any program would be foolish not to want at the next level. I know it’s been a blessing to have him a part of ours at Madison Central.”

Rowe averaged 14.1 ppg, 3.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.1 steals and helped Madison Central to a 18-14 record and the second round of the MSHAA Class 6A playoffs last season as a sophomore. 

Rowe has a Division I offer from Jackson State.

“Dylan is a gym rat. If he had food available at Madison Central 24/7, he would probably live there,” Gardner said. “He works unbelievably hard on improving his game and has continued to improve as a leader on our basketball team. Dylan loves to compete and play the game.”

Rowe is the son of Marc and Tasha Rowe. Marc graduated from Marion, Indiana, High and Indiana University. Tasha ran track in high school in Hattiesburg and graduated from Mississippi State. Rowe’s sister, Madison, was a cheerleader at Madison Central and is a freshman cheerleader at MSU. Rowe’s brother, Brice Rowe, was a three-year starter in basketball at Madison Central and played basketball at Delta State and Virginia State. Rowe’s brother, Devan Rowe, went to South DeKalb High School and attended West Georgia and works in Atlanta. Rowe’s brother, Matthew Rowe, attends University of North Carolina-Greensboro. 

Mississippi Scoreboard selects a boys basketball player from Hinds, Madison, or Rankin counties each week. Coaches can nominate a player by text or call to Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276. 

Previous Players of the Week

Week One: Mike Williams, Jackson Academy

Week Two: Dylan Rowe, Madison Central

Week Three: Eric Paymon, Raymond

Week Four: Ashton Magee, MRA

Week Five: Morris Hammond, Ridgeland

Week Six: Michael Wallace, McLaurin

Week Seven: Mason Williams, Jackson Academy

Week Eight: Avery Thomas, Terry

Week Nine: Eric Paymon, Raymond