Madison Academic boys’ basketball put up 12 unanswered points in the opening minute of its game Friday night against Riverside High School, a deficit that the Panthers did not manage to make up as Madison took home the victory, 77-42.
With such a young team this season, those 12 points were quite a challenge for Riverside head coach Jim Hehe to come back from.
“They hit the first three shots and they were up nine to nothing, and we had about seven or eight shots where we hit the boards well but we were coming up empty,” Hehe said. “We’ve got a young team, we just got down early and it’s hard for a young team to come back when you get down early.
“They shot lights out, too, and hit a bunch of 3-pointers.”
In the mind of Madison head coach Darrell Maxwell, the ability to shoot with precision beyond the arc will be a deciding factor for the Mustangs this season.
“When we’re hitting 3s we’re competitive with just about anybody, but we gotta make threes, because our post play is not good right now,” Maxwell said. “I played five guards at one point tonight. We went man to man at half court, picked up the pressure a little bit and made shots. If we make shots we can be pretty good.
“We’re living and dying by the three. Our depth is hurt a little bit because our starting point guard isn’t dressing out at the moment, and that’s making Parram (Marquese) work a little harder and leading to more fouls, so if we can just get him to foul less we should be fine.”
Madison took advantage of poor Panther rebounding and shaky ball handling all night, combining its own fluid passing game and quickness to the basket to stay in front of Riverside, never going below the initial 12-point lead.
The Mustangs were led by several key performances in the victory, including Marquese Parram with 26 points, Blake Donaldson with 18 and Ben Wichlan with 14.