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Madison Academy ends Raiders’ shot at 3rd title


Greensboro’s Jimmie Taylor dunks over Madison Academy’s Zach Bogardus (32). (Photo by The Associated Press)


BIRMINGHAM | Joshua Langford, a 6-foot-4 freshman guard, led the way as Madison Academy dethroned Greensboro in the AHSAA Class 3A boys semifinals.

Langford scored 30 points and collected 16 rebounds Wednesday in the Mustangs’ 65-57 victory. Greensboro, trying to win a third straight title with three different head coaches, finished with a 28-3 record.

"We played to the very end," Greensboro coach Marty Everett said. "Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough to overcome what they were doing to us tonight.

"We were actually trying to deny (Langford) the ball. He’s a tough kid, a really great player. They set a lot of screens for him. They did a good job just getting him the ball, and when they got it to him he was able to make a play."

Senior guard Donald King, who was a sophomore starter when Greensboro won the first championship in school history in 2011, finished his career with 15 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists.

"I just tried my best to put my school on the map," King said. "I’ll remember the two championships, but I’ll probably remember the one I lost more."

Madison Academy deployed a sagging defense to give Zach Bogardus help in guarding Jimmie Taylor, Greensboro’s 6-9 senior center. Taylor, a University of Alabama signee, scored six points and had nine rebounds, seven blocked shots and two assists.

"They were doing a really good job of sagging off, especially in the first half," Everett said. "I think in the second half we were able to finally knock down some shots to where we kind of got them off of him a little bit.

"If Jimmie is not blocking the shot, he’s altering the shot. He makes people think about what they’re going to do. He’s patient on defense, and he averages around six or seven blocks a game."

Taylor went 3-for-5 from the field.

"Hats off to Madison Academy," Everett said. "They did a great job playing defense. They were able to limit what we wanted to do."

Guard Keimondre Turner made two 3-pointers and scored 13 points for the Raiders. Jamarcus Gray made four 3-pointers and had 12 points.

Greensboro took its last lead at 55-54 when Kavoris Owens made a free throw with 2:11 left. The Raiders went 5-for-12 from the foul line, while Madison Academy made 23 of 27 attempts.

Langford nailed a 3-pointer to give the Mustangs the lead for good. He claimed a defensive rebound that led to a layup by Alex Hairston that made it 59-55.

Greensboro got its last basket on a dunk by King that cut the margin to 61-57. Langford made two free throws with 14.9 seconds left, and Chandler Trach made two more with 7.6 seconds remaining.

"They were scoring, and then we stopped scoring," King said. "We stopped trading baskets, and that’s when they took the lead."

Late in the third quarter, Greensboro held a 45-41 lead when Madison Academy called time. The Raiders were late getting back on the floor and were hit with a technical for delay of game. Everett said some water had accidentally splashed on the court, and the Greensboro staff was trying to mop it up. Langford made the two technical free throws, but the Mustangs didn’t score with the following possession.

Gray hit a 3-pointer, and Greensboro finished the third quarter with a 48-45 lead.

Madison Academy lost starter Malik Miller to a knee injury early in the second quarter. Nick Hass came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers to finish with 13 points.

Madison Academy finished with a 41-26 rebounding margin.

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.