The young Madisonville basketball team continued a rocky start through the beginning of the season with losses to Hargrave on the road last week and to Teague at MHS on Friday night.
“This is an extremely inexperienced and young group that has never played together as a unit,” said Madisonville basketball Coach Chris Reid. “Our players have been giving good effort on the court, and we have seen some bright spots. Still, we have a ton of work to do.”
The current Mustangs roster comprises of five seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. Two of their players are transfers, junior Dylan Stanley from Iola and sophomore Josh Griffin from Louisiana. Only two of the seniors played varsity basketball a season ago.
In Hargrave last Tuesday, the Mustangs were defeated by the Falcons 86-49. Tyrese Brown led Madisonville in scoring with 10 points while Andarius Morning followed with eight. Griffin led the team in rebounds with nine.
Brown again led the way in scoring for the Mustangs on Friday night at MHS with 20 points in the 62-43 loss to the Lions. The junior also led the team in rebounds with eight and two three-pointers.
Along with gaining experience, the Mustangs are looking to lock down the basics and improve on the little things at the early stage in the season.
“We will look to immediately improve our transition scoring, shot selection and limiting turnovers,” said Reid. “We need them to learn situations and strategy along with fundamentals. There are a number of things that stick out on film that we must improve on.”
Coach Reid is aware and patient while trying to guide the young group that lost a combined 61 points per game from their eight departing seniors a season ago. He is pleased to see his young players get an opportunity to gain experience during the rebuilding phase.
“We expect this experience to help us not only in district play, but also in future seasons as our younger classes come up from junior varsity and junior high,” said Reid.
Off the court, Reid has implemented a weekly study hall and academic conduct accountability rating that has helped players make improvements in the classroom and in the hallways. The team’s ‘Manhood Mondays’ program is also off to a good start.
“Regardless of wins and losses, a high school career last four years,” said Reid. “Character, work ethic and manhood should last a lifetime. We use basketball as a tool to encourage those characteristics.”