Beating Duluth and Cross Creek in this week’s Northeast Georgia Invitational Tournament is certainly important to Raider coach Steve Crouse, but developing better practice habits is priority no. 1 right now.
The ninth-year Raider coach said some lackluster practices resulted in a slow start in the team’s season opener, a 67-61 loss to Brookwood Saturday.
“I was on them pretty hard last week about their practice,” Crouse said.
Madison County faced a 20-plus point hole in the third quarter, before putting up a furious rally and nearly stealing a road win.
“We had a good practice yesterday, and I’m expecting a great practice today,” Crouse said Tuesday. “I think that lesson was learned that, hey, we’ve got to come out and practice hard everyday, so we’ll be ready to play.”
The Raiders host their annual pre-Thanksgiving tournament this week, playing Duluth Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Cross Creek Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
The coach said this first month of the season provides a good measuring stick for his team, having played both Duluth and Cross Creek, as well as Brookwood, by the end of November.
Crouse said it’s important for his guys to continue to prepare well and develop chemistry.
“The big concern is are we getting better everyday in practice?” Crouse said. “Are we working hard everyday in practice to get better and do the little things right?”
Crouse praises fan support Saturday
Crouse is hoping the atmosphere Madison County enjoyed on the road at Brookwood carries over to the school’s Northeast Georgia Invitational Tournament this week.
“When we went to Brookwood on Saturday night, we, Madison County, had more fans than Brookwood had there,” he said. “That’s impressive. We get great fan support … Hopefully, they’ll come out this weekend for the tournament.”
NOTES: Duluth comes to Danielsville for this week’s tournament sporting a team that has its share of juniors and seniors after enduring a 4-21 season a year ago.
Meanwhile, Cross Creek, a school out of the Augusta area, features two college prospects, forward Santoine Butler and point guard Jahmad Saleem.