By Robert Wilson
Photos by Hays Collins
CLINTON – Raymond coach Tony Tadlock has won three state championships, two as a head coach and one as an assistant, in his 10-year coaching career for a reason. He knows how to slow down an opponent’s leading scorer.
Tadlock did it again Monday night against Madison-Ridgeland Academy and sophomore guard Josh Hubbard in the Rumble in the South at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum.
Raymond, using double teams at times and using an aggressive, 2-2-1 half court zone press, limited Hubbard, one of the top scorers in Mississippi, to only 13 points, 11 below his average, and defeated MRA 74-66 and hand the Patriots their first loss in Mississippi this season.
“We knew coming in how good of a scorer Hubbard was and we knew that Marlon Kidd does a great job on the other team’s best player for us,” said Tadlock, who has a 98-21 record and two state titles and one state runner up finish in his fourth season at Raymond. “Marlon is very solid for us each night in how he defends. Tremaine Dixon also did a great job on him as well. Our 2-2-1 also gave them trouble as well as we were able to limit his touches.”
Raymond, the MHSAA Class 4A state champion three of the last four seasons, improved to 15-2 and won its 10th straight game. MRA, who has won the MAIS Class 5A state title for the past six seasons, dropped to 18-3. It was the first time in school history the teams have played in boysbasketball.
Junior guards Jabarie Robinson and Tremaine Dixon combined for 36 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds and 6 steals to lead Raymond. Senior Keith Miller added 15 points, junior Chris Fuqua 12 points and eight rebounds and senior Marlon Kidd 10 points and seven rebounds.
“Tremaine and Jabarie work so well together in the back court,” Tadlock said. “They do a great job of feeding off of each other. Keith has been huge for us this year as he can score in multiple ways, but it starts with his leadership.”
Senior guard Phillip Hughes led MRA with a game-high 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Sophomore Harrison Alexander, a transfer from Germantown High, had 19 points and eight rebounds. Junior Davis Dalton had a game-high 10 rebounds.
MRA coach Richard Duease, the winningest high school basketball coach in Mississippi history and third most active in the country, was denied his 1,720th win in his 46th season, the last 39 at MRA. Duease, also the winningest boys coach in Mississippi history, has 1,127 boys wins and 592 girls wins. He has coached just boys since the 2002-03 season. He has won 39 state championships and 14 MAIS Overall Tournament titles. “It was a great game with two good teams and it was fairly even,” Duease said. “We missed 10 wide open layups and missed a dunk. That’s 22 points. We had 15 turnovers. Raymond did a great job. They have some great players and are very well coached. I thought Dixon, their point guard, was the difference.”