Patrick McCrary scored 33 points and Madison County shot lights-out from the free throw line as the Raiders beat North Oconee 68-56 Saturday.
“Pat is a great player,” coach Steve Crouse said. “He works really hard. He’s an unselfish player … When we get him the ball, good things happen. He’s obviously a huge part of our game.”
The win was Madison County’s fifth straight since a season-opening loss to Brookwood Nov. 15.
Following McCrary, who also collected 15 rebounds, were Chad Griffeth (13 points) and Bradley Raines (12).
This is the sixth-straight game in which at least three Raiders have scored in double figures.
“Everybody’s contributing,” Crouse said.
The Raiders hit 27-of-32 free throw attempts in avenging a 56-46 loss to the Class AA Titans last year. North Oconee went 19-8 a year ago and advanced to the Class AA state tournament.
The Raiders drained their first 14 free throws and converted 15-of-16 from the charity stripe in the first half. Madison County also got the ball to McCrary early and often as he scored 15 points in the first half to help push the Raiders out to a 35-24 halftime edge.
North Oconee never came closer than eight points in the second half.
The Titans tried to make a push with 3:19 left in the game when Neal Bates hit a three-pointer to cut the Raider lead to 52-44.
However, on the next trip down the floor, McCrary converted a three-point play and hit a technical foul shot at the 2:38 mark as the Raiders enjoyed a four-point possession.
With the victory, Madison County exceeded its win total from last year in just six games this season.
A night earlier, Bradley Raines scored all 10 of his points against Monroe Area in the final 4:54, giving the Raiders a late boost in a 54-51 win Friday.
Raines was one of four Raider players to score in double figures.
McCrary and Seth Fleming tallied 11 points each to lead Madison County. Griffeth scored 10.
“That’s big for us,” Crouse said. “Pat had 11, but the other starters put up the bulk of our points.”
The victory was the team’s second in region play.
The Raiders led by just a point, 35-34, heading into the fourth quarter in a back-and-fourth battle with the new Region 8-AAAA team.
With the game tied at 38-38 with 4:54 left, Raines scored his first points of the night with a three-pointer and later hit two key baskets to give the Raiders leads of 43-40 and 45-42.
Madison County led by as much as seven points, 49-42, with 1:48 left with a pair of Reterrium Davis foul shots.
Crouse noted that the Raiders held Monroe Area to just 51 points.
“I feel like our defense is getting better,” he said.
With the victory Madison County equaled last year’s win total and avenged two close losses to the Purple Hurricanes in 2007-2008.
The Raiders trailed 6-4 to start the game before Fleming cracked a three to spark a 10-0 run. That spurt helped boost Madison County to a 25-19 halftime lead.
MADISON CO. 68, NORTH OCONEE 56
NOHS 18 6 9 23 -- 56
MCHS 14 21 11 22 – 68