Raider coach Steve Crouse wasn’t in much of a mood for viewing game film.
Especially after his team turned the ball over 25 times in a gut-wrenching 62-61 overtime loss to Clarke Central Tuesday.
“It’s going to be tough to watch,” a disappointed Crouse said. “I probably won’t do it tonight (Tuesday).”
Madison County (7-11, 1-4) suffered its second-straight down-to-the-wire loss at home, falling to the Gladiators by a point after losing to Apalachee, 54-52, on Friday. Sandwiched in between that was a 68-39 non-region loss to Franklin County on the road Saturday.
Reterrium Davis banked-in an improbable three-point shot at the end of regulation against Clarke Central, but Madison County couldn’t hold onto a lead in overtime as it lost its fourth-straight game.
The Raiders have certainly proved they’re competitive, Crouse said. Now it’s time to start finishing out these games.
“We’re hanging in there with everyone in our region,” Crouse said. “We’ve got to find a way to win a couple.”
When the coach looked at the final stat sheet, the 25 turnovers told the story.
“Turnovers will kill you,” he said.
Patrick McCrary led Madison County with 15 points. Seth Fleming added 11 with three three-pointers, all of which came in the second half.
Davis finished with 10.
Madison County must now turn its attention to the second half of the subregion schedule, starting with a Friday home matchup with Habersham Central.
The challenge is to maintain team morale after the cumulative effect of two subregion losses by a total of three points.
“I know our kids are frustrated,” Crouse said.
Madison County trailed much of the night against Clarke Central and fell behind by as much as 10 in the third quarter before whittling the Gladiators’ lead away.
“I’m proud of my guys’ effort,” Crouse said. “I’m proud of how they battled to put us in position.”
The teams traded leads in the fourth quarter, but Madison County trailed 52-49 with six seconds left and Patrick McCrary at the free throw line.
McCrary missed both shots, but Madison County scrambled for a rebound and called timeout. With their last gasp, the Raiders inbounded the ball from underneath their own basket to Davis, who caught the ball near half court, dribbled to the arc and put up a three as time expired.
His shot banked off the glass and rolled around the rim before falling in, sending the Raider bench and crowd into a frenzy.
“We could have folded the tent, but we didn’t,” Crouse said of his team’s rally in regulation.
Madison County squandered a 59-56 lead in overtime, but fought back in the waning moments to take a 61-60 edge on a Chad Griffeth lay-up with 15 seconds left.
But Clarke Central’s Chad Witcher hit a pair of free throws with seven seconds left, and Bradley Raines couldn’t convert a game-winning attempt on the other end as the Gladiators escaped a second-straight upset in Danielsville.
Madison County stunned the Gladiators, 65-61, in overtime last year, but was left wondering what could have been this time. Crouse said late-game scenarios are stressed in practice, but haven’t worked out as planned in games lately.
“We just don’t seem to execute,” Crouse said.
Weekend in review
Losses handed down in different fashion
The Raiders had a rough weekend on the court with two very different types of losses.
Madison County fell in the final moments to Apalachee, 54-52, Friday. But the Raiders’ 68-39 loss to Franklin County Saturday was all but over by halftime.
The Raiders trailed 40-22 at the half and then scored just five points in the third quarter.
Madison County had just one scorer reach double figures, Seth Fleming, who finished with 12.
In the loss to Apalachee, Patrick McCrary led the Raiders with 14 points and Reterrium Davis added 11.