The Madisonville men’s basketball team held Navasota to just 15 combined points in the first and final quarters on Saturday to pull away with a big win at home.
The 68-54 victory gave the Mustangs a 5-1 start to the regular season, which was pushed back nearly a month due to football.
“We’re a running and pressing team,” said Madisonville head basketball coach Chris Reid after the victory. “But so are these guys, and I didn’t think it was very advantageous for us to get into a track meet today.”
The Mustangs, who are currently down three players due to injury, displayed versatility in executing a balanced offense and were still able to post nearly 70 points. Guard Sam Bennett orchestrated much of the offense and led the team with 21 points.
“This game is very encouraging,” said Reid. “It’s great to see that we can go a whole game without pressing one time. We still controlled the tempo and executed the half-court offense and defense.”
Navasota was effective in the second and third quarters, outscoring Madisonville in that span and cutting the deficit to just 1 entering the fourth quarter. However, they trailed 17-6 after the first and were held scoreless for the first two minutes of the final quarter.
Defensively, the Mustangs held their opponents in check and had complete control throughout the game with the exception of the last few minutes of the third. Senior Tommy Holiday showed how dominant he can be on defense and added multiple blocked shots to his total on Saturday.
“Our defense can make it really tough tom keep getting up and down the court,” said Holiday after the win. “Offensively, you don't know what we’re going to do. We might push it, we might slow it down. We practice versatility and can score in a lot of ways.”
Holiday was third on Madisonville in scoring in Saturday’s win with 17 points. He was just behind Nick Porter, who posted 19.
With a record of 5-1 and players sidelined due to injuries, the Mustang start is reason for optimism. The team is led by Coach Reid in his first year along with a lot of senior experience. It’s also safe to assume they’ve yet to hit their stride with just a handful of games under their belts thus far.
If Madisonville is as effective in the half-court offense as well as moving up and down the court, they could be very difficult to stop this season.
The Mustangs went hunting for their sixth win on Tuesday with another home contest against Grapeland. They will now enjoy a break for the holidays before competing in the Allen In-N-Out Burger Tournament at Allen High School from Dec. 28-30.