DICKSON — The Dickson Comets, a work in progress all season long, finally appeared on the verge of a breakthrough.
At home, against a talented Madill squad, Dickson had come out on fire for the second half, building an eight-point lead that appeared the start of a cruise to victory.
Until, suddenly, it wasn't.
The Wildcats (13-6, 5-1 Lake Country Conference) regrouped, got hot and rallied to a big road win, topping the Comets 82-67 on Friday.
"We started getting some better looks, doing some better ball movement," Madill coach Aaron George said. "We also had some post guys step up on second chance opportunities."
Madill's offense exploded in the second half, putting together quarters of 25 and 24 points, paced by Joe Avery, Ivan Flores and Samuel Bond, who each scored at least 10 in the second half.
Flores finished with 18 points to lead Madill, while Bond tallied 17, Ke'ven Davis had 16 and Avery chipped in 13.
"That (offensive balance) has been the story all year long," George said. "It's harder to guard us because we have several scorers."
Defensively, Madill also did a good job of shutting down Comets guard Jacob Lindsey in the second half. Lindsey, one of the top scorers in the area, had 19 points by the half and 23 by the midway point of the third quarter, but simply couldn't find any room to operate thereafter, finishing with 27 on the game to lead Dickson.
"He's a one-man wrecking crew," George said. "We were trading guys in, faceguarding him, and I think he just got tired."
Without Lindsey's contributions to count on, Dickson struggled to generate much offense from the rest of its lineup.
"The trouble that we're having right now is that we have a 3-to-4-minute stretch where we just fall apart," Dickson coach Chuck Ryan said. "That's us in a nutshell right now."
For Madill, it was the third time in its past four contests that the Wildcats scored at least 80 points, and gives the rest of the teams in Class 4A reason to pause with the playoffs coming up soon.
"Coach George's teams are always in the game because of their tenacity," Ryan said. "And they've got some guys who can get hot from the 3-point line."
And for Dickson, all that matters is the knowledge that when Ada comes to town for districts, the records are right back to 0-0.
"We've said that you take these games now and think, 'What can we get better at,'" Ryan said. "Because when you get to the playoffs, that's when it matters."