Friday’s win over Taylor proved to be the most exhilarating moment along an already magical season, in which the Madisonville Lady Mustangs have broken records with sheer regularity. And with one victory standing between them and the regional tournament Madisonville has another opportunity to add to their remarkable run.
The team has a large array of seniors that has proven to be impactful, such as Tyana Brown, Lexi Leveston, Zanavia Lewis and Tra’dayja Smith. However, that’s only the beginning. Players like Shakayla Burns and Tylesia Roundtree get significant playing time as juniors and have made the most the opportunity.
One of the keys to the success of the Lady Mustangs this season has been their strong team play. Madisonville is known for its lockdown defense, with tough, in your face, aggressive on the ball pressure from opening tip.
“Defense, defense, defense! That’s what I’m always telling the girls,” said Head Coach Shana Taylor after practice Monday. “When our defense is good, everything else just falls into place.”
It’s that defense that has the Lady Mustangs ranked eighth in the state, with a 27-3 record, and reigning district champions.
Yet, for them, all that is just noise. Surely, the bevy of accomplishments is great, but it is this group’s ability to play within the moment that perhaps remains their most admirable trait.
Coach Taylor consistently stresses the importance of the old “one game at a time” philosophy and this mentality has resonated with a MHS squad that brings a consistent hard-fought effort game-to-game.
“I want the girls to take it one game at a time,” said Taylor. “We have to focus on playing every possession, grabbing every loose ball and locking down on defense. We know where we want to go, but in order to get there we must go through the process.”
Therefore, as of now, the Lady Mustangs are focused simply on notching another win and punching their ticket to the regional tournament and allowing the accomplishments to pile up involuntarily as they so often have in this unprecedented season.