Jess Hatch, unsure until midday whether he could play because of a hyperextended knee, scored 18 points and earned most valuable player honors as Madison defeated previously unbeaten Paint Branch, 63-57, last night to win the fifth annual Hayfield Invitational boys basketball tournament.
Craig Saunders scored 15 points and junior reserve center David Randall had his second consecutive solid outing as the Warhawks improved to 7-1.
Paint Branch, which overcame a 22-point deficit in its semifinal win over Hayfield, rallied from a 16-point disadvantage early in the fourth quarter last night. The Panthers (7-1) cut Madison's lead to 57-51 with 1:18 to go, but could get no closer.
Hatch, a 6-foot-3 senior guard who came into the game averaging 23.8 points, was injured on a flagrant foul in the closing minutes of Madison's semifinal victory over Lee.
"We worked on the knee all day and I was pretty sure it was going to be okay," said Hatch, who made eight of 17 shots from the floor as the Warhawks shot 50 percent as a team.
Madison never trailed after it took a 27-25 lead on B.J. Runyon's basket with 2:28 left in the first half. The lead increased to 49-33 on Jimmy Atkins' three-point shot that opened the fourth quarter.
Hatch scored 12 of his points in the first half when Madison was erratic.
"Jess is just a snake out there," said Madison Coach George McLean. "You have to watch him night after night to see that he does everything. He will be scoring, playing defense, rebounding or stealing a ball whenever you need it."
A key for Madison was the defensive play of 6-2 guard Joey Jauch. The Warhawks played man-to-man defense virtually the entire game, with Jauch hanging all over Paint Branch guard Keith Johnson.
Johnson had scored 27 points, making six of nine from beyond the three-point line, a night earlier. Last night, he was held to eight points on three-of-13 shooting (one of three from three-point range).
Center Charles Chase, averaging 17.8 points and 19 rebounds, had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Paint Branch.
In the consolation game, Lee (7-1) made 20 of 23 free throws, including 16 of 16 in the fourth quarter, to defeat Hayfield, 70-46. Jeff Jividen scored 23 points for the Lancers.