MADISON – Madison-Ridgeland Academy’s Ben Milam and Devin Gilmore call themselves the flight squad.
On Tuesday night, the flight squad took off.
Behind Gilmore and Milam, the Patriots ran past rival Jackson Academy 55-38.
“All we can do is just communicate with each other and (Tuesday) it worked real well,” Milam said. “We (have) got great chemistry together and hopefully moving forward we will (have) more good games like we did (Tuesday).”
Gilmore, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward, led MRA (16-8), ranked No. 4 in Academy AAA, with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He scored 14 points in the third quarter.
Milam added 17 points for the Patriots, while Clint Moses chipped in 10 points.
“Coach just kept telling me when someone backs off, just shoot, and I think I did that. … But I should have attacked the basket more,” said Gilmore, who is receiving interest from Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and UCLA, among others.
“When we saw we were ranked No. 4, we took that personal and wanted to come out and prove we can beat anybody.”
After being tied at 20 at halftime, the Patriots jumped on a 11-0 run to start the third quarter to build a 31-20 lead. The top-ranked Raiders (15-2) cut the lead to six but could not get any closer.
“The third quarter is the most important quarter in basketball to me. … Devin is so hard to guard off the dribble, and he really opened things up for us in the third quarter,” MRA coach Richard Duease said. “We knew JA is such a great defensive team, and we knew it was going to be hard to get open shots.”
Evans Wilkerson led Jackson Academy with 11 points, while Austin Tucker chipped in nine points for the Raiders.
“We did not start the second half like we should have and we took some bad shots … and that led to easy transition baskets for MRA,” JA coach Bill Ball said. “They simply outplayed us.”
MRA 49, Jackson Academy 38
Dandy Dozen choice Tatyana Lofton scored a game-high 13 points to lead the Lady Patriots (24-3), ranked No. 2 in Academy AAA, over the third-ranked Lady Raiders (16-3).
Amber Landing, an Arkansas-Little Rock recruit, had 12 points, nine rebounds and five block shots for MRA.
“We knew we had size advantage coming in and when we play good defense we are hard to handle,” MRA coach Stephen Force said. “When Amber gets real active like she did in the first half, she can really take over the game.”
To contact Brandon Shields, call (601) 961-7248 or email@example.com. Follow @BShields_CL on Twitter.