Sometimes, a loss like the Madison-Grant Argylls suffered on Thursday – a 27-point defeat at the hands of a defending state champion runner-up – can really affect a team’s psyche for multiple games afterwards.
But, the Madison-Grant Argylls are not like most teams.
Throughout the season, they’ve been a resilient bunch, learning lessons throughout the all the defeats and heartbreaking losses to become better basketball players.
And on Friday night, against one of the top teams in the CIC on the road, the Argylls put forth one of their best efforts of the season, defeating the Alexandria Tigers by a score of 71-65.
“I could not be more proud of those kids,” Madison-Grant Head Coach Brian Trout said. “We challenged them big time after Thursday, and they stepped up. They stepped up to the challenge tonight. I tell you, I could not be more proud of them. We executed exactly what we wanted to do, and we were able to finish off a big game on the road. That’s huge, especially at Alec, one of the toughest places to play. We just played really well across the board on both ends of the floor.”
The Argylls set the tone defensively from the start, holding the Tigers to just 12 points in the first quarter and carrying that through the rest of the contest. While they did give up 23 in the third quarter, the Argylls held Alexandria to 16 or fewer points in all of the other stanzas.
“We were playing a different defense tonight, and I think it just ignited us a little more,” Trout said. “One of the things we always talk as coaches on the defensive end is [talking.] You have to talk, and that talk raises your energy level. Not only are you calling out cutters [or] calling out who needs to cover what, that raises your energy automatically. We did a much better job of that tonight.”
Alexandria led by three points at halftime and two points after the third quarter, but the Argylls closed the game out with authority, outscoring the Tigers 24-16 to secure the victory and end their conference schedule with a 4-3 record, a four-win increase from a season ago.
Friday night’s game was a tremendous bounce back effort for the Argylls, and Trout hopes that it will continue in their final three games against Lapel, Eastern, and Monroe Central.
“It’s maintaining that focus and that intensity from the get-go,” Trout said. “That has to start when we show up at the school. If we’re on the road, when we pull in and get off the bus, that focus and that intensity needs to start then. These are things we talked about going into this year, because we feel like we didn’t do a very good job of that last year as a team. And part of that last year was that we were so young, so they didn’t have an idea, any idea of what needed to be done to get ready to play a varsity basketball game, mentally. We refocused in that area this morning in our walkthrough…and they stepped up to that challenge.”
Wyatt Rudy led the Argylls with 30 points, vaulting himself to fifth place on M-G’s all-time scoring list. He needs just 21 points to claim sole possession of fourth place. Isaac Cooper finished with 18 points and five rebounds, Kaden Howell scored 13, and Grant Brown recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists in the Argylls’ triumph.