Mustangs push for District

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The Madisonville basketball team has now rattled off three straight wins after starting their District slate 0-2.

This included an impressive 75-58 revenge win over top-ranked Athens at home on Friday.

"There are no words that the Meteor can print that would describe how bad we wanted to win this game," said Madisonville head basketball coach Chris Reid after the victory.

The Mustangs knew they were capable of taking down Athens after they dropped a Jan. 16 contest 82-80 thanks to a buzzer beater. This time, the Mustangs frustrated the Hornets throughout. Athens was hit with four technical fouls in the fourth quarter alone and one player was even ejected for letting the official know how he felt about one of them.

"What made me feel great was the composure of our team," said Reid. "We didn't get frustrated with them and talk trash. Our boys were disciplined enough to stay focused and just play basketball. That makes me proud because that's what our program is about."

At the beginning of the action, it appeared as if the Mustangs would be the frustrated team. They trailed Athens 8-3 before they went on a 13-5 scoring run to conclude the opening quarter. The game went back-and-forth for much of the second until Madisonville was able to pull ahead and build a 9-point lead at the break. The Mustangs allowed just 23 points in the first half.

The game would basically be decided in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter. Already ahead by 9, the Mustangs went on a 13-4 run to take a 45-27 lead. Madisonville was making stops and turning them into quick fast breaks and the occasional three-point opportunity. The Hornets would spend the rest of the game trying to weather the storm, but never got closer than within 8.

"These guys have beaten us at the buzzer the last two times we played them," said Madisonville's Tommy Holiday, who posted a triple-double on the night with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks. "We wanted this one real bad and it was huge because we have a shot at District now."

On top of Holiday's fantastic showing, Sam Bennett led the team with 27 points. Nick Porter recorded 14 points with 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

Before the Athens game, Madisonville also took down District opponent Palestine last Tuesday on the road by a score of 57-55.

Holiday led the team with 22 points and was followed by Bennett with 16. Holiday also led the team with 13 rebounds, 6 blocks and 2 steals.

The win over the Hornets means that the Mustangs still have a shot to be co-champions of the District this season if they win out and Athens drops one more game. If this were to happen, the teams would either play each other for a third time to determine the champion or there will be a coin flip.

On Tuesday, Madisonville looked for revenge again in Mexia. They will travel to Fairfield on Friday and conclude the regular season with a home game against Palestine next Tuesday.

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