Coach sees positive signs in tourney

Christina Gordon, Sports Editor

Madison College men’s basketball coach Jamal Palmer feels his team has “something to build on for the future.” 

For the first time since the 2014-2015, the team made it to the Region IV Championship game, where it lost to Rock Valley College, 73-52, on Feb.23. 

Obviously, the season didn’t end the way that the WolfPack wanted it to.

“It hurt. They are a little disappointed because they know they didn’t put their best foot forward in the championship game,” Palmer said. “At the same time, we played the way we played, we can’t take anything away from Rock Valley, they were the better team that day.”

In the championship Madison College wasn’t able to get much going in the first half.  Madison was only able to score 14 points compared to Rock Valley’s 33 points. 

Madison was able to get more production in the second half scoring 38 points while holding Rock Valley to 40 points. Ultimately, the first half deficit was too much for Madison to come back from.

Sophomore Earl Lewis was the only player for Madison to score in double figures.  Lewis led all scorers with 22 points. He also had five rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal. 

Freshman Amire Williams-Stribling had seven points of his own for Madison.  Freshman Jason Williams had a career high 14 rebounds and four blocks.

A day earlier, Madison College faced No. 2 seeded Joliet Junior College in the semi-final game. 

“The guys were pumped for us to play Joliet, knowing that we could beat them and get to the championship game,” Palmer said. “They went out there and preformed that way.  They were locked in from start to finish.”

In a game that was back and forward through the first 13 minutes, Madison College got its first lead 11 minutes in the game when freshman Malcolm Reed hit a jumper. 

Madison College’s starters all scored in double figures, with Lewis leading the way with 24 points, a new career-high in scoring.  Williams was close behind with 16 of his own.  Freshman Marcus Kartes had 15 points. He hit a career-high five three-pointers while also having a career-high eight rebounds. 

Sophomore Davion Washington had 14 points to go along with his 10 rebounds, earning his third career double-double.  Sophomore Shamar Newman had 12 points to round off the double-digit scoring.  Newman also had a career high six assists. 

Madison College finished the regular season on Feb. 15, against in state rival Milwaukee Area Technical College. 

Down 32-49 at half, Madison College went on to outscore Milwaukee, 52-51, in the second half but the first half lead was too much to overcome. 

Madison had four players score in double-digits.  Newman had a career high 28 points to led all scorers.  Lewis ended the game with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three steals.  Williams had 11 points, and seven rebounds.  Kartes rounded off the double-digit scorers and had 10 points.  Washington had a team high five assists, and three steals. 

“Our second-year players closer to the end of their career here at Madison College they really stepped up and showed that they were second year players and they were leaders.  They demanded more out of the younger guys especially.  A lot of the first-year players also grew,”  said Palmer.

Madison College graduates three sophomores in Davion Washington, Earl Lewis, and Shamar Newman. 

Madison College also had four players receive post season honors.  Newman, Washington, and Williams received Region IV All-Region second team honors.  While Williams and Lewis received Region IV All-Tournament team honors. 

Madison ended their season with a 13-16 overall record and a 5-9 conference record.