Playing five games in a week against a team that has only played one game in a week is challenging. Especially when you’re a team made up of football players playing against dedicated basketball players. In spite of that, the Madison County boys’ basketball played Walnut Grove close and even led for much of the contest. But they eventually lost 52-46 Thursday night in part to five three-pointers made by the Warriors in the third quarter.

“It’s been tough, basketball is a skill based sport,” said head coach Tim Drake. “You have to be playing basketball year-round to maintain your skills. It’s hard to pick up a basketball for four months out of the year when three of the last teams we played, play predominantly basketball. Which our guys, you have to keep in the gym, shooting and maintaining our skills. And they’ve done that, we knew this first part of the year was going to be a struggle because we have so many football players. But I wouldn’t trade this team for anything, we have a lot of grit and a competitive nature in this team and we’re going to keep grinding.”

The first quarter Thursday night was an absolute scramble. The lead changed six times and was tied twice. When the buzzer sounded, the Raiders led 13-12 and they held onto that lead throughout the second quarter and took a 25-21 lead into the locker room.

But in the third quarter, Walnut Grove just started making shots. Their five-three pointers led to a 21-point quarter. Madison County just couldn’t keep up. They trailed 42-35 after three quarters.

They were unable to cut the lead under four points in the fourth and Walnut Grove pulled back away to win 52-46.

“I think fatigue caught us in the second half.” Drake said. “Our guys were tired, they played three games in a row, five in seven days. In the second half, their pressure got to us, we started putting in some younger players. Fatigue and pressure, it showed up there late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter.”

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