HAMMOND — Brusly got off to a fast start, but Madison Prep knew how to finish in the 3A semifinals.
A 15-2 second quarter, coupled with a prolific 22-point fourth quarter set the stage for Madison Prep’s 61-41 win over Brusly Tuesday at Southeastern Louisiana’s University Center.
Tia Anderson scored a game-high 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Brusly, a semifinalist for the first time since 1994. Allasia Washington led the Chargers with 15 points, five assists and five steals.
“We had a great year. We started off pretty fast,” said Brusly coach Trent Ellis. “I think we got into a situation where we had too many turnovers that kind of hurt us and put us behind the eight ball. Madison Prep is a great team and we just can’t give them possessions and that’s what we did tonight.”
Brusly finished the game with 20 turnovers, including 15 in the first half. Eight turnovers in the second quarter led to eight points for Madison Prep.
The game's start looked like it would go in Brusly’s favor. The Lady Panthers scored the first five points and led 11-4 after a 3-pointer by Alayah Gedward with 3:23 to go.
Brusly did not score again in the quarter. MPA scored the final points and took a 12-11 lead on a layup by Washington with 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
By the time Brusly’s scoring drought ended with five minutes left in the half, Madison Prep led by double digits. Brusly got within four in the third quarter, but the Chargers stretched their lead back to 11 heading into the final quarter.
“We went into season knowing we’re going to the championship this year and that’s what we had set our whole time since the first tip off in November,” Anderson said. “Although we came up a little short, I feel like we had a great season. We’ve progressed. Even though we had a young team, we were way ahead of where everyone thought we were going to be, and we proved everyone wrong.”
Brusly coach Shawn Bradford said despite the loss his team proved at times they could compete with MPA.
“It’s beautiful the way they’ve progressed from the beginning to now,” Bradford. “I couldn’t be more proud of these girls. We proved that for eight minutes we could go punch for punch. Even at the home game (Jan. 22), we proved we could play with them. Just on this platform and this stage, we proved we could do it for a quarter. We’ll work our butts off in the offseason and be prepared to play four quarters or more. Whatever it takes.”