The Madisonville Mustangs basketball team shot just 19 percent from the field to fall to 1-2 in district play on Friday with a 52-46 loss to Fairfield at MHS despite a late surge in the second half.
“We are not a great shooting team and our percentages show it,” said Head Basketball Coach Chris Reid after the loss. “The way we can offset that is defense and hustle with a lot of trapping and pressing. I felt like we did not play as intense as we needed to in the first half, so that was our point of emphasis at the break.”
Still, neither team could find a consistent offensive rhythm throughout the first half as the Eagles entered the locker room with a 25-15 lead.
The Mustangs turned on the intensity down the stretch and were able to outscore Fairfield 22-12 in the third quarter to even the game up at 37. After taking back the lead, Fairfield was ultimately able to pull away at the end of a tight fourth.
Tyrese Brown posted a double-double in the contest with 18 points and 10 assists to lead the Mustangs. He connected on two attempts from three-point range and Jeremiah Gilbert added another.
Keyon Johnson missed a double-double by just one point with nine and led the team in rebounds with 13. Joshua Griffin also recorded eight boards down the stretch and Aaron Nellums was third in scoring with seven points.
“We shoot hundreds of shots a week in practice,” said Reid. “We are trying to increase our volume of shots. When you shoot at a low percentage you have to get more attempts up and focus on offensive rebounding. That is an area where we can still improve more.”
Madisonville got off to a good start in district at home against Rusk but have now lost back-to-back contests. Last Tuesday, they fell to Palestine 84-48 on the road. Dylan Stanley led the team in scoring with 15 points.
“We are still on the first half of the district swing,” said Reid. “We still have an opportunity to make the playoffs so we will continue to chip away at it, stay positive and we will see what we can do.”
The Mustangs hosted Mexia on Tuesday to conclude the first half of the district schedule. They will be off on Friday night as they prepare to visit Rusk this upcoming Tuesday.