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Madill girls basketball holds on for win over Fox

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

DICKSON — For three quarters, the Madill High School girls basketball team was in the driver’s seat on cruise control. But Fox jumped into the road and provided a brief scare before the Lady Cats held on for a 36-28 win at the Comet Holiday Classic.

“If we play one of the 4A teams we have to play, we would get beat right there,” said Madill head coach Shawn Runyan. “I’m not taking anything away from Fox by saying that. It’s just we had them down in a hole, a deep hole. And usually we’re the ones in the deep hole having to fight out. It could have very well gone the other way.”

The Lady Cats held a 30-13 lead entering the fourth quarter, only to have the Lady Foxes make things interesting. A lot of that had to do with five different Fox athletes finding the basket.

Daja Petties led the way with five of her team-high 13 points in the fourth to keep her team within striking distance.

“One thing I’ve learned about them is they are scrappy,” said Lady Foxes first-year head coach Erik Yeiser. “Those girls work hard.”

Fox’s efforts weren’t enough though, as Madill stepped up in crunch time thanks to Mariana Mendez’s three baskets – the only points the Lady Cats scored in the fourth.

However, it wasn’t something that Runyan wanted to see.

“We got passive, we got relaxed,” he said. “We didn’t take care of business. Fox did a good job of putting pressure on us and we turned the ball over. I think it kind of got more lackadaisical for us, thinking it was over too early.”

Mendez led Madill with 15 points, while Jayden Weiberg chipped in nine and Cielo Gomez tallied seven.

The Lady Cats advance to the semifinals against Dickson at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18. The winner of that game advances to the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19.

Meanwhile, Fox falls into the consolation bracket and plays Marietta JV at 4 p.m. Friday.