Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Rivalry games often seem to take on a life of their own. No matter the previous record for either team, one can never completely predict how any individual game will end. This was true on Saturday, Feb. 3, when the Madison County High School (MCHS) Cowboys hosted long-time rival, the Taylor County High School Bulldogs. The Cowboys were riding high on an 18-game winning streak that topped last year's school-record setting 17-game winning streak. The Cowboys, with a 20-2 record, had just been named the number one team in Class 1A by the high school sports website, MaxPreps.com. The Bulldogs came into the game with a 7-8 record. But, just as with many rivalry games, none of that mattered in the end. The Cowboys, despite playing short-handed due to injuries, had dominated the game until a late game rally by the Bulldogs ended in a 70-69 loss for the Cowboys.
Travis Jay registered yet another triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Ken Hawkins had 16 points. Zarrion Robinson had 11 points for the Cowboys. Tre Adams had six points and 15 rebounds.
Before the game with Taylor County, the Cowboys set a new school-record, 18-game winning streak by defeating the Chiles High School Timberwolves, in Tallahassee on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The Cowboys had 19 steals and took advantage of those Timberwolf turnovers, scoring 25 points. The Cowboys cruised to a 72-58 victory.
Chris Simmons led the Cowboys with 22 points. Travis Jay chalked up another of his triple-doubles by scoring 17 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. Tre Adams added 12 for the Cowboys. Demarvion Brown also scored in double digits with 10 points.
On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Cowboys hosted the Vikings of Lowndes High School, from Valdosta. The Cowboys had to mount a comeback in order to finish the game with a 66-58 victory. The first quarter ended with the Vikings having a 20-13 advantage. By halftime, the Cowboys had cut into that lead, but the Vikings still had a 33-30 lead. The game continued to be close, and the third period ended with the Vikings sporting a thin 45-44 edge. The Cowboys then posted a scoring flurry in the fourth quarter; and by the last minute, had a 60-50 lead. During the last minute, the Vikings were forced to commit fouls in order to stop the clock, a strategy that rarely works, and this was no exception. The Cowboys actually extended their lead, thanks to 73 percent accuracy from the foul line.
Jay led the Cowboys with 17 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists for a double-double. Hawkins had 13 points, as did Simmons. Brown added 11 points to the Cowboys' total.
The Cowboys will finish their regular season on Friday, Feb. 9 against Williston. This will be Senior Night for the Cowboys, and special recognition will be given to those seniors who will be playing their final regular season game in the MCHS gym. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.