Fans cluttered into the cozy gym to witness two rivals tip off for — a shoe.

Fans cluttered into the cozy gym to witness two rivals tip off for — a shoe.

To the winner of the Kingston-Madill game went a bronze-dipped Chuck Taylor and a season’s worth of bragging rights. Thanks to an athletic display from Jose Flores and a deep bench, the Wildcats (6-1) overcame a slow start to beat Kingston 49-30, and the Marshall County Championship award, affectionately deemed “The Shoe,” stayed put.

“We decided to step it up another notch,” said Flores, who scored a game-high 12 points off the bench. “Coach (Aaron George) said it’s gonna be a long break if we lose.”

Madill had already lost to Kingston 68-64 in overtime six days earlier in the Madill Winter Classic championship.

Kingston (7-1) came out firing in an emotionally charged first quarter, on the backs of an opening 3-pointer by Bobby McAdoo and a 7-0 start. Madill, however, stayed in the game with a deep rotation that saw George make full line changes.

The Wildcats pulled their entire starting lineup at the 6-minute mark and did so again with 3:42 left in the first. Though Kingston held an 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, the undermanned Redskins were worn down by Madill’s depth.

It didn’t help that Kingston starter B.J. Burns was ruled out of the game with a virus. That left much of the heavy lifting to McAdoo, who scored only nine points on the night, five of which came from the free throw line.

“It would have been nice to have B.J. but that’s not a good excuse,” Kingston coach Brian Brister said. “We’re a tired team. This break couldn’t come at a better time for us though.”

Madill began to take hold of the game through Darryl Fields and Flores. The two combined for Madill’s first points of the second quarter, as Fields stole the ball inside midcourt and passed to a streaking Flores, whose one-hand jam cut Kingston’s lead to six. Flores and Fields scored eight of Madill’s 12 second-quarter points to give the Wildcats an 18-16 lead at the break.

“We were getting pretty upset at first,” Fields said of the Wildcats’ first half. “The calls got better and we stepped up.”

In the third quarter, the Wildcats broke the game open, again with bench play and defense. Center Daniel Lamm, who had a hard-luck first half in terms of foul calls, went to work inside, scoring six of the Wildcats’ points on an 8-0 start to the third quarter.

Kingston didn’t score until 4:59 remaining in the third. By then, Madill ripped off a 14-2 run.

“Being a little overconfident may have cost us too,” McAdoo said. “But the defensive pressure is always good from Madill.”

McAdoo would know. The senior played in his fourth “Shoe” game.

Lamm’s big third quarter helped him finish with 10 points and five rebounds. Fields finished with 10 points and 2-2 from the line.

Chris James had six points and seven boards.

Erik K. Horne,
(580) 221-6522