Madisonville couldn’t slow Fairfield’s early-season surge back in December when the Mustangs lost to the Eagles at home and the same could be said Tuesday night when the Mustangs fell to those same Fairfield Eagles, 75-38.
No Madisonville player had double-digit scoring.
Forwards Arron Nellums and Tommy Holiday both finished with eight points and senior Deonte McAdams had six points and four rebounds.
Despite the loss and midseason coaching change as Brian Thurmond stepped down after 10 successful seasons as head coach Wednesday, Madisonville had little time to process the move as their attention shifted to Friday’s game against Palestine at home.
Interim co-coaches Brad Taylor and Russell Smith’s main focus heading into Friday night’s game was to have the team ready to play.
“We want the guys to respond in a positive way,” Taylor said.
The Mustangs responded to the challenge leading Palestine 13-5, after the first quarter.
“I think the boys response well,” Taylor said. “They came out and played with a lot of emotion and intensity from start to finish.”
Junior Kasey Williamson hit a three-pointer with 44 seconds left in the second quarter to give Madisonville a 27-19 lead at the half. Palestine, which averages more than 60 points per game this season, were held to just 16 points in the second half as the Mustangs defeated the Wildcats, 49-35.
“The thing Coach Smith and I were most proud of was the effort the guys showed on the defensive end,” Taylor said after the win Friday. “Holding a team like Palestine to 35 points is huge for the boys and they get all the credit for buying in and keeping the same consistent approach on defense.”
Sam Bennett led all scorers with 12 points. Holiday recorded a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. McAdams, Nick Porter and Williamson all had eight points.
The Mustangs return to action Friday on the road in Athens.