Written by Corbett Smith
Madison's huge second half, and 22 points by Admon Gilder, makes it first defending 3A champ since Sweeny in 1987-88
AUSTIN — At halftime of the Class 3A final, Madison knew it was fortunate to be hanging around with Houston Yates, much less tied.
Madison’s best post presence, Johnathan Turner, sat for more than 10 minutes in the first half, saddled with three fouls against a team with two dangerous senior forwards — 6-7 J.C. Washington and 6-8 Melvin Swift. Madison had made only 3 of 12 3-point attempts, and, uncharacteristically, it had committed 20 first-half turnovers.
“We played our worst basketball,” first-year head coach Rod Johnson told his team at halftime. “Now, it’s time to go play our best.”
Madison used a 15-2 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters to break open a back-and-forth game, winning its second consecutive 3A state title with an 82-70 win Saturday.
“Everybody on the team played their role when we came out in the second half,” Madison senior guard Cameron Bryant said.
Tied at 51-51 with a minute remaining in the third quarter — the game’s 11th tie — junior guard Admon Gilder started Madison’s run with a 3-pointer.
Yates went 0-for-7 from the field over the next 3:37, as Madison (30-3) stretched its advantage to 13 points. Yates (24-9) would not close its deficit under eight points from that point.
It was a near-copy of what Madison did to Yates in the 2013 final, using a 16-4 fourth-quarter run to leave Yates in the dust.
“We’re just blessed,” Gilder said.
Gilder scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, consistently finding ways to challenge and convert at the rim against Yates’ tall front line. Gilder (16 rebounds, four assists and four steals) was named the championship game MVP.
Johnson said he’d seen players on television with Gilder’s knack of finishing at the basket, but not in his gym, on his team.
“He’s definitely a unique talent,” Johnson said.
As the Frank Erwin Center dimmed its lights, trying to clear the court, Johnson and his son Roderick posed for a picture with the state trophy, both beaming. Roderick, a 6-5 senior transfer from DeSoto, played his best game of the season in the final, providing defense, rebounding and post scoring when Turner sat out with foul trouble. Roderick finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
“He saved his best for last,” Rod Johnson said. “I’m thrilled for him. How many opportunities are you going to have to get this?”
Houston Yates: 13 20 18 19 – 70
Dallas Madison: 15 18 23 26 – 82
Yates: Melvin Swift 8, J.C. Washington 20, Milton Jackson 6, Damion Lewis 18, Lorenzo Phillips 2, Davion Houston 2, Jacob Young 10, Marcus Edwards 4.
Madison: Johnathan Turner 12, Roderick Johnson 16, Cameron Bryant 19, Admon Gilder 22, LeBraun Armstrong 8, Brandon Stanton 2, Derek Jones 3.