Prep Hoops: Ledford boys cage Cougars for MPC championship

Feb. 18, 2014 @ 04:59 PM

It was a night for celebration at Ledford High School, as the boys basketball team followed up the girls’ fifth straight regular season conference title with a resounding win of its own.
Ledford secured its first Mid-Piedmont Conference championship Monday night with a 97-38 victory over the Southwest Randolph Cougars. The Panthers (17-7, 10-2 MPC 3-A) began the night by jumping out to a 24-3 lead in the first quarter and ended it by cutting down the nets in their home gymnasium.
“It gives me cold chills just thinking about it,” Ledford coach Jonathan Leonard said. “We were 7-17 last year and won just one or two games in conference. It’s what they’ve done, working so hard and coming together as a team that got us here. We have special players.”
Skylar McGee led all scorers with 22 points, and Brandon Rothrock added 20 for the Panthers, who also received sizeable contributions from its bench, which helped close out the victory. Jonathan Turner had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the second unit.
“It feels great to see all that hard work pay off,” McGee said. “We can’t relax or give up. We just want to keep going.”
Ledford will look to continue its success in the conference tournament in order to improve its seeding for the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs. The Panthers’ historical season could last for a while longer if the team plays the way it ended the season and records the school’s first playoff victory in years.
“I think they really understand the moment that they’re in,” Leonard said. “I talked to them earlier in the season about the future, about how you want people to remember you. It means a lot.”