Basketball teams sweep overall championship

From Issue 7

Boys Basketball team celebrates the overall championship victory
Girls Basketball team celebrates overall championship victory

After winning the MAIS 6A championship held at Jackson Academy this season, both girls and boys basketball teams were poised to go all the way to win the overall championship tournament. 

Following an incredible win against MRA in the 6A Division championship, The boys started their second championship run by taking on West Memphis in a game held at the Patriot’s home court. This game was practically over minutes after it started as the starting five consisting of Cam Brent, Luke Segrest, Haddon McLeod, Walker Craddock, and Lampton Moore completely dominated the floor, leading the team to an astounding 82-21 score. 

The girls also started their tournament with a home game held at Jackson Prep. The girls were coming off of a great win against Hartfield Academy in the District Championship. Coming into town was Humphreys Academy out of Belzoni, Mississippi. Humphreys held their own for a while, but the dominant level of team play boosted the Patriots to get the 57-27 win, starting their tournament on a high note.

During the second round, both teams played much better teams than the week before. The boys played a very competitive game against the Christian Collegiate Academy Bulldogs in which both teams went back and forth all night. With great defense and timely offense being played down the final stretch of the game, the Patriots were able to defeat the Bulldogs 45-47, elevating them to the semi-final round where they would face Greenville Christian. 

The Lady Patriots hosted a very tough Central Hinds team in the second round of their playoff run. This game was a relatively low scoring affair compared to previous games played this season as the Pats only scored 38 points the whole game. Fortunately, the girls played exceptionally well on the defensive side of the ball, just as Coach McAnally coached them to do from the first day of practice. Central Hinds was only able to score 28 points as they fell to the Patriots 38-28. This big win was enough to hoist the girls to the next round against Bowling Green where they would play for a spot in the championship game. 

With both teams now having a great opportunity to get into the Championship game, it was time to buckle down and focus on the semi-final games. The boys would be playing a team who they had beaten earlier in the regular season, but nevertheless, it was certainly not a team to overlook due to their high-level athleticism. Grenville Christian has shown that every player on the court has the ability to score, so it was very important to try and limit them as much as possible offensively. We have seen great defensive play time and time again as this is one of Coach Wise’s most important coaching points, but there was no comparison to the level of dominance on the defensive side of the court during this particular game. Greenville Christian was held to just 23 points as the Patriots would go on to score 41, securing their spot in the big game against crosstown rival Jackson Academy. 

The Girl’s semi-final round was certainly one that will be remembered for years to come as there were many lead changes along with a very dramatic finish that led to overtime. Thanks to great play by Julia Stradinger, Josie Duncan, and of course, Andie Flatgard, the girls were able to survive overtime and earn a hard-fought 41-36 win. This great win put the girls in the championship game where they would play one of the best girls teams in the state, Leake Academy.

The day of both of the Championship games finally arrived. The girls would play at 6 oclock, and the guys would play directly after. Having great expectations for the outcome of both of the games, the student section was completely packed full of faithful Prep fans. The student section has been the unsung hero of both of the teams this season as they have brought outstanding energy and have even been awarded the best student section in Mississippi. 

It was time for tip-off and the energy was electric in the Mississippi College Gym. The girls got off to a very hot start as they got up by more than double digits in the first quarter. A buzzer-beating three point shot made by Leake cut Prep’s lead to just six going into halftime. The second half was everything that the fans expected it to be: High intensity and high level of play. Both teams’ offenses stalled in the second half thanks to great defense being played, but just as Leake was beginning to mount a comeback, Kennedie Sanders helped Prep go on a 6-0 run by making three straight baskets in crunch time. With Prep only up by one point with less than a minute left, Leake attempted a game winning shot that just missed and went out of bounds. Julia Stradinger received the inbound pass and was quickly fouled by Leake, resulting in free throws for Prep. 

Stradinger stood at the line with everyone watching. It was up to her to hit these free throws and put Prep up by three with just a few seconds left. The first shot went up and it went right through the hoop. An eruption of cheers came from the Prep student section. Ready to make history, Julia attempted the second free throw and sank it, letting out a large battle cry, and solidifying a 37-34 Prep win.

This was an incredible game and a well-deserved win for these girls who have worked so hard for it. Senior Guard and team leader Andie Flatgard remarked that “It feels awesome to win it all. All the emotions, all the late nights, it paid off…We’ve been dreaming about this since the eighth grade. Just the opportunity to be here, I really can’t even put it into words.” Due to Flatgard’s outstanding performance in this year’s tournament, she was selected to be on the 2022 All-Tournament team along with teammates Josie Duncan, Julia Stradinger, and Kennedie Sanders.


With half of the night’s objectives completed, there was still one more left on the to-do list as the boys were set to face off against the Jackson Academy Raiders. The Raiders pulled off one of the best upsets in the tournament as they knocked off the MRA Patriots in a nail-biting semi-final game. The boys got off to an extremely hot start, led by excellent three point shooting by Senior Haddon McLeod. McLeod finished the game with a very efficient eleven points. Per usual, the Prep defense would not give the Raiders anything easy offensively. Because of the tenacious Prep defense, JA was only able to muster 18 points through the first three quarters. Senior Cam Brent had a very solid game as he put up eleven points, six rebounds, and six assists. He really did do it all in his last game as a Jackson Prep Patriot. 

Forwards Walker Craddock and Lampton Moore also had great games as they played very well on defense and proved to be very successful offensively. The JA offense picked up a bit in the fourth quarter, but they were unable to mount a comeback as Prep would go on to win 43-32. This was a great win, but it was even more special for the senior class and Head Coach Tim Wise as this made up for the loss in this same game two years ago. Prep players that made the All-Tournament Team were Cam Brent, Luke Segrest, Haddon McLeod, Lampton Moore and Walker Craddock. 

These great wins for the basketball program capped off two extraordinary seasons for both teams and also was the first time that both teams have won the District Championship and Overall Championship since 1981. It was certainly a year to remember for Jackson Prep Basketball, and with both teams returning great players, expectations will be at an all time high for the teams to go back to back.