Fourth quarter. Tight game.
The Madisonville boys’ basketball team is no stranger to the situation it faced last Tuesday night.
The Mustangs have become more familiar with this kind of ending, after making enough plays on both ends of the floor after halftime to win a tight game, 66-62 against 4A Athens.
“We spent the last two weeks working on Athens, watching film and really getting a feel for how they like to play,” said Head Coach Brian Thurmond after his team’s first win in district play. “We knew if we just played our game and stuck to our game plan that we would be just fine in the end.”
Down by as many as six in the second quarter, the Mustangs stormed back to take a one-point lead at the half, 31-30. Madisonville built on that late second quarter momentum, outscoring the Hornets 21-12 in the third quarter, giving the Mustangs a, 52-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“I always tell the guys that basketball is a lot like life,” Thurmond said. “When things don’t go your way you have to play through it, and I thought our guys did that.”
Despite a 10-point lead heading into the final period the Athens Hornets clawed their way back into the game cutting that once 10-point deficit to a one-point lead. Junior guard Sam Bennett scored a team high 21 points, making a timely layup with 1:28 to go in regulation giving the Mustangs a, 61-60 lead. Clutch free throws from juniors Cornelius Merchant and Kasey Williamson sealed the game for the Mustangs.
Deonte McAdams finished with 17 points and five rebounds, Williamson had nine points and 10 rebounds and Tommy Holiday added nine points and nine rebounds in the win.
Madisonville returned to action Friday against 4A Mexia on the road falling, 63-57. Madisonville trailed Mexia at the half, 37-21, and despite outscoring the Black Cats by 12-points in the second half the damage was already done. The Mustangs (18-7) fell to 1-1 in district with the loss.
Nick Porter led the team in scoring with 19 points, Holiday had 15 points and eight rebounds while Bennett added 10 points.
Madisonville will continue district play Friday, at Mustang Gym hosting Palestine.