MADISON TOWNSHIP — Madison flirted with history Friday against Mount Vernon.
The Rams blew out to a 15-2 first-quarter lead and cruised to a 47-26 win over the Yellow Jackets in Ohio Cardinal Conference action at Madison Middle School.
Unofficially, the 26 points allowed were the second fewest surrendered in a game in program history. The Rams gave up 22 points in a tournament victory over Bucyrus in 1962.
What’s more, Madison (7-12, 4-7) avenged a 58-27 loss at Mount Vernon in early-January. The Rams flipped the script thanks largely to their work at the defensive end of the floor and dominance on the glass.
“The thing that killed us over there was their offensive rebounds, which led to some runs,” Madison coach Tim Mergel said. “For the most part, we were able to limit them to one shot tonight.
“We made some shots and defensively we were engaged. It was a well-connected defensive effort.”
Mount Vernon (6-12, 5-6) trailed 5-2 early in the first quarter before Madison’s Steven Williams scored five straight points as part of a 10-0 run to close out the period. The Rams led 15-2 after one and pushed the advantage to 18-2 early in the second on a Dylan Metz 3-pointer.
Trailing 23-6, the Jackets closed the half on a 7-0 run to make it 23-13 at the break. Trey Grohe scored four points during the stretch.
“We played an OK second quarter to make it somewhat interesting at the half,” Mount Vernon coach Nick Coon said. “We got good shots, but we don’t always convert at a high rate. It’s hard to go back on defense when you’re coming up empty on offense.
“Right now we’re really struggling on the offensive end of the floor and it’s carrying over to the defensive end.”
Madison put it out of reach in the third quarter, outscoring Mount Vernon 14-7 for a 37-20 lead. Metz had five points in the period, including a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left to give Madison a 37-18 advantage.
Metz connected on his third and final trey early in the fourth to give Madison a 40-20 lead. He finished with a game-high 13 points, while Williams added 10.
“When Metz can hit a couple and Steven can hit a couple, we’re a different team,” Mergel said. “That adds a different dynamic.”
The Rams have won back-to-back games for the first time all season. Madison beat Ashland 49-48 on a last-second Jay Jones layup earlier this week.
“There were times when we were a pretty bad basketball team this year,” Mergel said. “We’ve gotten better, which is a testament to the kids.”
Blake Meyer led the Yellow Jackets with 12 points. Grohe added six.
Mount Vernon dropped its third straight during a rugged four-game road swing. The Yellow Jackets host Marysville on Saturday.
“This has been a tough four-game road trip,” Coon said. “We’ll be excited to be on our home floor and its probably a good thing we play tomorrow just to get this one out of our heads.
“We’re going to do everyone we can to rally our guys and finish our season as strong as we can.”