Madison and Rucker combine for 32 points to lead the Hounds
by Joe DiBlasi
Gilman’s Brandon Madison is well known for his football prowess, but on Friday night the host Greyhounds got clutch free throws from senior guard in the waning seconds of regulation that allowed the Hounds to preserve a 69-67 MIAA A Conference win over the visiting Loyola Dons.
Madison got in early foul trouble, but he saved his clutch performance for the second half when he scored 15 points for first-year Gilman coach Will Bartz, including a key free throw with 2.6 seconds to play.
“I caught two fouls early and spent most of the first half on the bench, but when I came back in I hit a three and then went to the foul line several times,” said Madison. Madison was was 6-for-8 from the line in the fourth quarter.
The Dons held a commanding 39-26 lead at the half, racking up 26 points in the second quarter, but the Greyhounds retaliated with 26 of their own in the 3rd quarter to pull ahead 51-47.
Four different Greyhounds finished in double figures.
Madison led the Hounds with 17 followed by Jalen Rucker with 15. Ciaran Sandy had 13, and Malik Missouri added 11. Rucker gave his team a 68-64 lead when he hit two free throws with 15 seconds left, before Loyola’s J.J Hallaby answered with two free throws of his own a few seconds later to keep the game close.
“We got a little bit obsessed with playing one-on-one basketball in the second quarter (when Loyola rallied), and in the third quarter we just kept coming back, relying on each other and we hit our free throws down the stretch,” said Rucker.
Cameron Shaw lead Loyola was 24 points and Halaby had 18.
Bartz praised Loyola Coach Josh Davalli. “They hedge and recover so well on ball screens; we had to make an adjustment at halftime and it was a chess match after that.”
It came down to a senior leader in Madison, having the will to win,” added Bartz. “He’s only been able to practice with us about six times after coming off a very successful football season and to see him have special moments with those free throws down the stretch tonight is really awesome. In the A conference, if you don’t execute on defense you will get punished, and we buckled down late in the game.”
GILMAN 69, LOYOLA 67
LOY 13 26 9 19 — 67
GIL 14 12 24 18 — 69
LOYOLA: Halaby 18, Shaw 24, C.Nnake 6, Fox 2, Hepting 3, D. Nnake 3, Young 3, Fischer 8.
GILMAN: Foster 4, Madison 17, Wilson 7, Willis 2,
Missouri 11, Sandy 13, Rucker 15.