Madisonville never trailed but Tuesday’s 51-43 win over Mexia in a Class 4A district game was anything but comfortable.
A physical, back and forth first half saw the Mustangs and Black Cats knotted at the half 20-20.
Madisonville led by as many as ten points in the third and held an eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter before going on to defeat Mexia.
Junior Sam Bennett led all scorers with 16 points. Kasey Williamson had 14 points and eight rebounds, Deonte McAdams had seven points and five rebounds and Cornelius Merchant had six points.
Madisonville looked to build on the win, hosting the Fairfield Eagles at home Friday night. Madisonville jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead early in the first, but the Eagles responded with a quick 4-0 run to end the quarter. Fairfield forced six turnovers and took an 18-8 lead with 4:03 to go before halftime.
Junior guard Cornelius Merchant broke the Mustangs’ four-minute scoring drought scoring Madisonville’s first points of the second quarter sparking an 8-0 run. Back-to-back baskets from Holiday and a timely three-pointer from Merchant made it a tied game at the half.
Madisonville struggled after intermission, going scoreless in the third.
“In the third [quarter] Fairfield switched their defense from man to zone, and for whatever reason it kept our offense off balance and we struggled to put the ball in the basket,” said Coach Taylor. “If that doesn’t happen I think we pull off the upset.”
The Mustangs outscored the Eagles in the fourth 22-14, but couldn’t complete the late fourth quarter comeback falling to Fairfield.
Nick Porter led the team with 12 points. Bennett had eight points, Holiday had seven points and six rebounds and Williamson added six points and four rebounds.
Madisonville (20-10) fell to 3-4 in district play with the loss.