TRINITY — Eyes open and looking ahead, West Morgan’s Brandon Roberts took at good look at what opponents have seen his team do all season long. Like taking in a mirror image, Roberts squared up against Madison Academy’s Joshua Langford in the area championship game.
The two starters have many things in common. Friends off the court, both players lead their teams in scoring double digits and have reputations that proceed them. Still, the Rebels were unable to stop Madison Academy’s freshman guard as the clock winded down Monday night.
With Langford at the helm, the Mustangs steamrolled past West Morgan 70-50 to claim the Class 3A, Area 15 title.
“I think we both lead our team very well. We both push our teams very well,” Langford said. “When I play against Brandon, I feel like I get that extra push.”
That “extra push” proved pivotal, as Langford recorded a game-high 35 points.
“Whoever wants it more is going to win, and they wanted it more,” Roberts said afterwards. “(Langford) makes me step my level of play up, because so there’s so much hype, so much competition.”
Roberts led West Morgan scorers with 18 points, followed by Dustin Morgan, who scored 16.
Langford’s scoring edge was one factor, but Madison Academy (18-12) beat West Morgan (24-6) off the glass and stung the Rebels by double-teaming Roberts through much of the game. Colby Crossfield followed Langford with nine points.
“When you get double-teamed and holding, it’s easy to get frustrated,” Roberts said. “I got it against Elkmont last Friday. Having a team like Madison Academy, more physical, it was a little bit harder. I tried as hard as I could, but it was just one of those games.”
The electric atmosphere at West Morgan buzzed and the crowd watched the two players compete. After Madison Academy led 30-26 at half, Langford came out with a jumper and one from the free-throw line to keep up the Mustangs’ linear performance. Roberts responded by scoring four points from the paint, but Langford took off, putting up double-digit figures in the third and fourth quarters.
“They’re both great players, and they’ve both got a great future ahead of them at the next level,” Henson said.
Both teams agreed it was a great atmosphere in which to play.
“I love it,” Roberts said. “It gives you goose bumps, and it makes you want to play even harder.”
With the loss, West Morgan advances to face Mars Hill on Friday night.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or email@example.com.
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