Heading into Tuesday night’s matchup against Marion, the Madison-Grant Argylls were averaging 38.5 points a game.
But against the Giants, the Argylls nearly doubled their scoring output and that, combined with their always stout defensive play, resulted in a resounding win over their Grant County rival.
Azmae Turner continued her strong start to her junior campaign with a double-double performance, two other Argylls finished in double figures, and Madison-Grant, as a team, shot 54 percent from the field in a 65-26 victory over the Giants at the Bill Green Athletic Arena.
After a sluggish first quarter in which they shot just three-of-11 from the field, the Argylls shot 22-of-35, good for 62 percent, in the final three quarters.
Turner led the way, scoring 17 points and securing 10 boards, while Daya Greene scored 10 points, including Madison-Grant only two three-pointers of the contest. Katie Duncan was excellent in the post when she was on the floor, scoring 10 points on five-of-six shooting.
“I was proud of the effort,” Madison-Grant Head Coach Brandon Bradley said. “I felt like the first four, six, maybe eight minutes, we needed to feel out speed and length. There was a feeling out period, and once they settled in and knew how strong they were going to have to be with the ball, they adjusted really well.”
Leading 9-5 after the first quarter, the Argylls made several key adjustments, focusing on getting the ball into the post, utilizing more high-ball screens, and creating easy scoring opportunities underneath the basket. The changes worked to perfection, and the Argylls quickly took control of the contest, beginning the quarter on a 16-2 run and leading by double-digits the rest of the way.
“We just started making basketball plays,” Bradley said. “It wasn’t, ‘Let’s run our offense, let’s run this offense, let’s run that offense,’ it was more, ‘Let’s just make a play.’”
While their offense seemingly scored points at will, the Argylls’ defense made life tough for the Giants, forcing 22 turnovers over the course of the contest.
After outscoring the Giants 28-10 in the second quarter, the Argylls kept the pedal down after halftime, continuing to run the offense through the post and while keeping Marion’s offense off-balance. Madison-Grant’s lead continued to grow throughout the final two quarters, topping off at 39 before collecting the eventual 38-point triumph.
Everybody who touched the floor for the Argylls made a positive impact, with all but one player securing at least one field goal. Maddy Moore finished with eight points and nine rebounds, while Sarah Duncan also collected eight points. Nancy Chapel added six, Chelsea Bowland four, and freshman Katie Stowers scored a basket on her lone offensive touch.
“Azmae had a whale of a game in the first half. I thought Maddy Moore did a nice job in the second half,” Bradley said. “Bowland was good, as she always is, defensively. She was as aggressive as I’ve ever seen her. And Daya was Daya. She took care of the ball and she managed the team. Katie and Sarah were strong inside, and even Nancy gave us some really good minutes there.
“It’s still a learning process. We are not anywhere near being ready for our long stretch, but I saw a lot of growth tonight.”
For Marion, Olivia Aguilar led the way with eight points to go along with six rebounds. Alayah Guerrero finished with seven points, including a pair of triples, while freshman Alex Avila finished with five points and four boards.