Thunder Ridge Rains Fire on Bobcats

Ethan Jackson, Sports Writer

On Wednesday night, the Thunder Ridge Titans came into Madison to win, beating the girls varsity basketball team 80-64. Madison started off looking strong in the first few minutes, but were soon met with a barrage of three pointers from their district rivals. The Titans quickly made 4 in a row in under a minute and a half and ended the game with a whopping 14 three’s. 

Throughout much of the first half it was clear that the Bobcats defense could not keep up with the speed of the Titans offense. Time and time again Madison continued to give up crucial rebounds and poor passes that Thunder Ridge would simply kick back out to their guards who drained shot after shot.

Proving to be a problem for the Titans early however, Madison’s Grace Dow had herself a game. Playing the 5 position, the 6-foot senior finished the game with 22 points–nearly all coming from inside the paint. Another player that showed out was freshman guard Maggie Anderson, who ended with 12 points and proved to be a tough finisher when getting to the rim.

Though the Bobcats offense showed sparks, the defense and rebounding was still lazy going all the way into the half. Head coach Luke Sutton said that in the halftime locker room it was something he told the girls they needed to pick up.

Sutton’s advice obviously worked because right out of the gate Madison’s defense was on lockdown. They were not only slowing down the Titans offense, but at the end of the third quarter they seemed to have found a rhythm of their own. At one point Madison went on a 8 and 0 scoring run which led to the crowd’s loud cheers and a timeout to try and quiet it down. Early in the 4th quarter however, the Bobcats got themselves into foul trouble. Guards Charli Cook and Whitney Wasden were both fouled out mid quarter. 

Without two of their better defenders, the Bobcats continued to fall short when trying to keep up with Thunder Ridge’s elite passing and deep threat shooting. As Madison tried to mount somewhat of a late quarter comeback, Junior guard Whitney Mackenzie was determined to find the basket. Stirring up a savvy Eurostep to get past a defender and score late in the game. “It was tough, but we won the second half,” said Mackenzie after the game. 

Following their loss, coach Sutton praised his team for the way they played in the second half. “It was a tough loss, but it all comes down to defense and rebounding,” he said, “If we play the way we played after the half, we’ll win games.” 

The Madison girls are 7-10 on the year, and currently sit at 4th in their division with a divisional record of 2-4.