Mustangs set to tipoff new year

Posted 11/19/19

The Madisonville basketball team will open their regular season schedule on Friday with a home matchup against the Anderson-Shiro Fighting Owls. The Mustangs are looking to rebound from a six-win season in 2019 with another new-look squad.

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Mustangs set to tipoff new year

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The Madisonville basketball team will open their regular season schedule on Friday with a home matchup against the Anderson-Shiro Fighting Owls. The Mustangs are looking to rebound from a six-win season in 2019 with another new-look squad.

“I would say the biggest issue last year was a lack of experience,” said head coach Chris Reid in his third year at the helm.

While Madisonville had a number of seniors on the team a year ago, they did not possess much experience at the high school level.

“They were great kids, but they just had not played a lot of basketball in their lives,” said Reid. “We are not necessarily experienced at the varsity level this year, but they have played a lot of basketball as kids and have played together a lot. They have some good chemistry going.”

Returning players for the Mustangs include Tyrese Brown, Dylan Stanley, Andarius Morning, Ronaldo Willis and Elijah Nauls. Morning was the recipient of the district’s Newcomer of the Year honors for his performance last season.

The younger players will also have to make their contributions known with five sophomores currently listed on the roster. Madisonville will also welcome freshman Xzavier Whaley to the mix this season as they attempt to turn the page on a two-win finish in district a year ago.

“I felt like we shot entirely too many three-pointers and not enough free throws and layups last year,” said Reid. “One of our main agenda items this year is to play from the inside out, attack the basket. We want as many shots in the paint as possible.”

Madisonville’s district remains arduous with the likes of Fairfield, Palestine, Mexia and Rusk. They will open league play with a matchup at Rusk on Jan. 17.

“Last year we were 6-25 with two district wins,” said Reid. “If we can win more games than we lose and also win a bi-district playoff game, that would be a great season. Of course, I would like to do better than that. But if we can accomplish that in a district as competitive as ours, it would be a great season.”

Reid and Coach Clay Hardee have been instilling three expectations from their players heading into the year: character, academics and one hundred percent effort.

“We preach them everyday,” said Reid. “All of those things go hand in hand. If you have good character, that is going to show in life beyond basketball as well as your play on the court. If you take care of your academics, you get to stay on the court. One hundred percent effort transcends everything.”

Reid continues to push basketball as a motivation tool to help the players become better people off the court. He believes these standards to be the foundation of the program.

“We are seeing some positives impacts of that in terms of conduct and academics,” said Reid. “Those are the things that I spend the majority of my time on here. I always feel if we can take care of that, the basketball part will come to us.”

Madisonville and Anderson-Shiro will tip-off at MHS around 7:15 p.m. Friday, following the conclusion of the junior varsity matchup. The Mustangs are not scheduled to return home until Dec. 17 against Sealy.

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