Mustangs work through district slate

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The Madisonville Mustangs basketball team concluded the first stint of district play with a record of 1-3 following a 74-40 loss to Mexia at MHS last Tuesday.

“Our biggest problem was stopping their transition offense and limiting points in the paint,” said Madisonville Basketball Coach Chris Reid. “They were able to get out in transition early and get momentum going. They are the type of team that feeds off momentum and it enabled them to hit some outside shots as we struggled to score on our end.”

Mexia set the tone early when they jumped out to a 24-6 lead after the first quarter of play. Their 47 first-half points put Madisonville out of the game early. The Mustangs shot just 26 percent from the field and did not convert on any of their 15 three-point attempts throughout the game.

“Our biggest struggle by far this season has been shooting,” said Reid. “Anyone with a good understanding of basketball knows that you need to be in the 45 to 50 percent range on overall field goals and at least 30 percent on three-point field goals to have success at the high school level.”

In the first half of district play, Madisonville shot just 29 percent from the field overall in contrast to 46 percent by their opponents. They were 14 percent from behind the three-point line while their opponents shot 29 percent.

In the loss to Mexia, Aaron Nellums led the way for the Mustangs with 14 points while Keyon Johnson came down with 15 rebounds. Dylan Stanley added eight points down the stretch while Tyrese Brown scored six.

Madisonville enjoyed their bye slot on Friday night and were back on the court with their second matchup of the season against Rusk on Tuesday. If they can take down Rusk for a second time this season, they will be one step closer to clinching a playoff berth.

“In spite of some of the outcomes, I have been pleased with our team’s effort in the first half of district play,” said Reid. “Our boys work hard in practice each week and it shows in how hard they play and compete during games. If we can improve our shooting, the outcomes of our games will be better.”

The Mustangs will host their last home game of the season and Senior Night at MHS against Palestine on Friday night. Five seniors will be honored before their last contest at MHS for their contributions to the program.

District play will then conclude with two road matchups against Fairfield and Mexia.

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