Despite a 46-43 loss to Fairfield to fall to 0-4 to start district play, Lady Mustangs Head Basketball Coach Shana Taylor was encouraged by her team’s performance at home on Friday.
“I told the girls that we had the capacity to play well,” said Taylor after the game. “We were not playing how we should have for most of the year based on our capacity. Tonight we did that. That is a great team we played against and we would have won had it not been for a couple mistakes. All I have wanted all year is for them to show up and play and I am proud of them.”
Madisonville came out firing after a back-and-forth first quarter and outscored the Eagles 16-6 in the second to lead 27-19 at the break. But they could not keep the offensive momentum down the stretch and managed just eight points in each of the final two quarters.
Trailing by six after three quarters, Fairfield rallied behind 17 points in the final eight minutes to win the game by three.
The Lady Mustangs shot 46 percent from the field and generated 20 team steals. Khyra Cooper and Jyah Burns led the way in scoring with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Daiona Johnson recorded 13 assists and Amaya Scott led the team with five rebounds.
“We need to minimize the mistakes in order to close the game out,” said Taylor. “We are still working on defense and our turnovers. If we limit some of the mistakes, this game would have been different. But it is a learning experience and we just need to get through it.”
Last Tuesday, the Lady Mustangs fell to Palestine on the road by a score of 47-31. Burns led the team with 10 points and was followed by Cooper with eight. Johnson added 14 assists and six rebounds.
Madisonville began the second stint of their district slate with a rematch against Mexia at MHS on Tuesday. They will be off on Friday before traveling to Rusk next Tuesday.
With the second round of district games, Taylor believes Friday’s game can be a turning point moving forward.
“They see that they can play with the teams in the district so it is a great motivator,” said Taylor. “They could have doubted themselves coming in but now they know that they can play with the best because they are just as good.”