Mustangs open district with win at Rusk

Posted 1/21/20

The Madisonville Mustangs began district play with an 84-73 road win over Rusk Friday after concluding their non-league slate with a 60-50 victory over Bellville Jan. 14. The team returned to MHS for their first home district matchup Tuesday against Palestine.

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Mustangs open district with win at Rusk

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The Madisonville Mustangs began district play with an 84-73 road win over Rusk Friday after concluding their non-league slate with a 60-50 victory over Bellville Jan. 14. The team returned to MHS for their first home district matchup Tuesday against Palestine.

The Mustangs broke out with 23 points in the opening quarter at Rusk thanks in large part to the success of their full-court press.

“We set a goal for ourselves at the beginning of the game that we wanted to score 100 points,” said head coach Chris Reid on the win. “That is not a goal we have been able to reach yet, but the way we aimed to do that was by pressing baseline-to-baseline throughout the game and getting out in transition offensively.”

The Mustangs scored 26 points in transition and a total of 38 off turnovers alone. They were able to build a cushion down the stretch despite certain shooting struggles along the way.

“I felt like we did a great job with our full-court press defense,” said Reid. “To still score 84 points after missing 16 three-pointers and 14 free throw attempts is just a testament to how hard they played.”

Armando Juarez led the team in scoring with 20 points and also added four steals. He was followed by Dylan Standley with 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Xzavier Whaley added 12 points to go along with six boards and four steals.

“(Juarez and Standley) are two kids that play very hard every day in practice and during games,” said Reid. “They give 100 percent effort that is showing in their results on the court. (Whaley) is our primary ball handler and has carried a heavy load for us as a freshman. We put a lot of pressure on him and he has handled it well.”

Madisonville will take on highly-touted Palestine Tuesday at MHS for their first home matchup of district play. The Mustangs will hit the road again Friday for a contest in Mexia, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

“(Palestine) was picked to win our district in the preseason, so defeating them would certainly give us a major confidence boost,” said Reid. “I have told our guys that I feel like we can play with anyone in this district on any given night.”

Before beginning district play Friday, the Mustangs closed out their non-league slate with a 60-50 win over Bellville at MHS. Whaley led the way with 19 points in the victory and was followed by Juarez with 18.

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