Ready for conference play

WolfPack men’s basketball team hopes tough pre-season has prepared them to contend

Christina Gordon / Clarion

Christina Gordon, Sports Editor

The Madison College men’s basketball team has ended the non-conference portion of their season with a record of 7-6 and their coach is please with the team’s effort.  

“We had a pretty tough and rigorous schedule, we had a long start to the season,”  Madison College coach Jamal Palmer said.

“For us to be a game over .500 percent means a lot, because we have worked hard.”

The Madison College men’s basketball has a 25-day break before they start their conference season on Jan. 2, when they travel to Joliet.  

Palmer said he feels his team is in a good place to start the North Central Community College Conference season.

“We definitely will be competing for the N4C conference.  We are up there with the traditional top DIII teams of Rock Valley and Joliet, I feel like we’re right there with them,” he said. 

The WolfPack men’s basketball team ended 2019 on a three-game winning streak, after a tough loss to Rochester Community & Technical College on Nov. 26.  

The last game of 2019 came on Dec 7, when Madison College beat visiting Kishwaukee College, 80-72.  

Madison College started the game on an 11-0 run through the first four minutes of the game. After watching film of Milwaukee Area Technical College against Kishwaukee College, coach Palmer knew he wanted to start out quick.  

“We felt like we could pressure them if we could get out to a good jump,” he said.

That is exactly what they did by the halfway point of the first half they were up by 14 points.  By halftime the lead was down to 12.  

At the start of the second half, Kishwaukee College outscored the WolfPack 18-13 through the first 10 minutes and cut the lead to five.  

Coach Palmer had to call a quick time out.

“We were going through the motions.  We have guys that are supposed to be leaders and they are, but at the same time the on-court game experience isn’t there,” he said.  

Freshman Jason Williams lead the WolfPack with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Williams has three double-doubles on the season and leads the team in rebounding with 91 rebounds on the season.  Sophomore Shamar Newman was close behind with 13 points after a perfect 5-5 field goal effort. 

Madison College had three away games before their home game on Dec. 7.  

The first of the three games came on Nov. 26 when the WolfPack traveled to Rochester, Minnesota to face Rochester Community & Technical College and lost, 74-66.

Sophomore Earl Lewis had his first career double-double after his 22 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Freshman Allen Robinson was second in scoring with 18 points. 

The next two games were closer games for Madison College.

The first was on Nov. 30 when the WolfPack traveled to Chicago IL, to face Malcolm X College.  Madison was able to win the game, 85-80, ending a two-game losing streak for the WolfPack. Robinson lead the team with 20 points 11 of them coming from the free throw line, going a perfect 11-11 from the line. Williams had 18 points and 1o rebounds for another double-double.   

On Dec. 4 Madison College traveled to La Crosse to face Western Technical College.  The WolfPack were able to hold off Western Technical College winning the game, 87-80, giving them their second-straight win.  

Newman led all scorers with 18 points, with Williams close behind with 12 points.  Freshman Dayton Coleman had a career high 15 points in the game.