MADISON — Suffice it to say, the Madison girls basketball team overcame the season’s biggest obstacle on Tuesday night.

Though Mt. Abram put up a fight, it wasn’t the Roadrunners that the Bulldogs needed to ward off. Instead, it’s a vicious virus running rampant through the squad in the final quarter of the season — one Madison had to battle through en route to a 59-38 win in a Mountain Valley Conference game with Class C South implications. Senior guard Madeline Wood led all scorers with a game-high 19 points, while junior Sydney LeBlanc added 16 points of her own for the Bulldogs, who improved to 11-4 after entering the week ranked fourth in the region.

“Some girls that played had fevers just last night, and they still came out and played really hard,” Wood said. “It just showed the heart that this team has.”

Wood scored 11 of her 19 points in the second half, helping the weary Bulldogs thwart any comeback hopes the Roadrunners may have entertained.

Mt. Abram (8-7) didn’t go away quietly, but ultimately it was the points Mt. Abram didn’t score that sealed its fate. During a horrendous stretch overlapping halftime, the Roadrunners went more than eight and a half minutes without a field goal.

Sophomore guard Summer Ross — who led Mt. Abram with 18 points — hit a little floater in the lane with 3:57 remaining in the second quarter to pull the visitors to within 19-16, but by the time Sally Stevens hit a short jumper in the lane with under three and a half minutes left in the third period, the Bulldogs had run out to a 38-19 advantage.

The Roadrunners missed 16 consecutive field goal attempts during the spell, including seven from 3-point range. They couldn’t take advantage of a slow and conservative start by Madison.

Wood, LeBlanc and Ashley Emery (five points) all hit key buckets for the Bulldogs during the 19-3 run. Once the Madison guards got their rhythm going — both out of the half-court set and in transition — the Bulldogs were off and running.


“Definitely running the floor, getting those fastbreak layups, kind of got us out of that outside shooting slump,” Wood said.

“They played zone against us early, and I thought we settled for some threes that we probably didn’t need to settle for,” Madison coach Al Veneziano said. “Once we got the ball moving and started looking inside a little bit, we got it moving a couple of times around the perimeter and we opened up some pretty good shots for ourselves.”

When Madison wasn’t on the break, they turned inside to center Lauren Hay. The junior finished the night with eight points.

“(Hay) is one of the ones battling a really bad cold,” Veneziano said. “She usually plays really strong for us, and I thought she battled really hard.”

Madison was also able to take advantage of Ross, who found herself in foul trouble just over two minutes into the second half with her fourth foul. That allowed Wood to penetrate the lane more often, either for buckets of her own or for ones she dished off to teammates.

Veneziano was just happy his team survived. He wasn’t even shaking hands with his players after the game, for fear of the illness continuing to spread.

“We missed some easy shots in the early part of the game,” Veneziano said. “With the amount of sickness we’ve had, I thought we played very hard and very well in some parts of the game.”

“We’ve had down practices because of numbers, and we haven’t really been clicking because of all of us being sick,” Wood added. “It was really to good to get us to have that explosion (in the middle of the game) and get us a lead in the second half so we weren’t worried about being close the entire game.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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