Girls Basketball

Madison staves off Talawanda comeback to register 40-32 victory

OXFORD — It was a tale of two halves for the Madison High School girls basketball team Monday night.

And still, the Mohawks were able to overcome a turnover-plagued outing on the road against a Division I program.

Kylie Wells registered a double-double — 14 points and 13 rebounds — Emma O’Hair scored eight points and Madison staved off a late Talawanda push to capture a 40-32 victory.

“In the first half, we stuck with what we do,” Mohawks coach Tommy McGuire said. “We ran our stuff. We ran our offense and had a lot of movement. We were aggressive. We went into the locker room and left it all there.

“Then instead of getting into the paint and being aggressive, we just dribbled it around the perimeter. There was a little bit of chippiness, and we didn’t handle that adversity great at first. But all in all, a win’s a win. This is a tough place to play. It’s good to finally get a win here.”

Madison (5-2) moved its winning streak to four games and snapped a four-game losing skid to Talawanda (4-4). The Mohawks’ last win against the Brave came on Jan. 19, 2017 — in a 65-55 contest at Madison.

“In wins, we’ve held the lead this season,” McGuire said. “Today, we kind of lost it a little bit. We really haven’t had many teachable game moments — whether it comes to game management or clock management.”

Monday’s win was one of them. McGuire said his Mohawks battled back in both of their losses against Waynesville and Edgewood, and he was pleased how they were able to hold on to the lead Monday.

“With end-of-quarter situations, it’s different when you practice them compared to when you’re on the floor,” McGuire said. “The kids were actually able to see that tonight.”

Madison had its largest lead heading into the halftime break at 26-13. Talawanda won the third quarter 14-6, which was capped off on a McKenna Weekley buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

“We historically have slow starts,” Brave co-coach Deandre Williams said. “Even in games that we’ve won, we had slow starts. My message before the game was that we can’t have a slow start, and we followed that up with a slow start. It’s always going to be hard for us to dig ourselves out of a hole.”

Weekley finished with a team-high 13 points and four steals to pace Talawanda, which forced Madison into 19 turnovers. But the Brave shot just 11 of 55 (20%) from the floor despite putting up 21 more shots than the Mohawks.

Sadie Van Gordon had nine points and six rebounds for Talawanda, while teammate Grace Richardson chipped in with six points and eight boards before fouling out with under six minutes left to play.

“We came in with only six varsity girls to begin with, and we’re looking at junior varsity players who can provide minutes off the bench,” Williams said. “That’s what we had to do. Of course, I trust my whole team. But when you come out and you let a team score and get into a rhythm before we get into our rhythm, it creates an uphill battle.”

Madison held Talawanda to five points and connected on 5 of 6 free throws in the fourth quarter.

“We’re learning from this portion of the season — because it’s a gauntlet,” McGuire said. “We’re going to keep trucking. We got a win tonight, and I like the fact that we didn’t back down and stuck with it.”


Wells leads the Southwestern Buckeye League in rebounds (11.0), blocks (3.0) and field goal percentage (64.2) per game. She also averages a team-best 14.0 points a game. … Richardson scores 13.3 points a game to lead the Brave.


Talawanda hosts Franklin County on Wednesday, while Madison welcomes Carlisle on Thursday.

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