Madrid uses stout defense, key runs to win district championship

Brody Buck takes a jumper in the first quarter of Tuesday night's district championship again Coon Rapids-Bayard. Buck had 29 to help Madrid win, 55-41. / Photo by Craig Shultz
Craig Shultz
Madrid Register-News Editor

  JEFFERSON - Tuesday night was a big night across the state for 1A and 2A basketball teams as they competed for a district championship. It was no different for the Madrid Tigers as they took on the Coon Rapids-Bayard Crusaders in the 1A-District 15 title game. A late first half run combined with timely defensive stretches saw the Tigers take a 55-41 decision to advance to Saturday night’s substate final.


 The Crusaders struck first but Madrid was quick to answer with a Brody Buck bucket. The two teams continued to trade blows back and forth, Buck scoring the first nine points for Madrid as they were able to carry a three point edge into the second quarter, 13-10.


  CR-B clamped down for the first few minutes of the second on defense, holding Madrid to very little offensively. The Tigers were down a point with just a few minutes left in the half, but after a timeout, Madrid made a 9-0 run to end the half and carried an eight point lead to the locker room, 24-16.


  “It was huge for us to go on that run just before half. We weren’t getting shots to fall like normal and we needed something to get us going and carry into the second half. It also puts a lot of doubt in their minds as well since we held them to 16 points and had an eight point lead,” Madrid Coach Brian Surratt said. “Our mood at half way great. I think we all felt relaxed and that we were in a good position. We know what we are capable of and if we can get out in front that makes teams do things they don’t necessarily want to do and it opens up opportunities for us to score.”


  The Tigers continued to see their lead grow and extended it to 14 with 4:33 left in the third, 33-19. A buzzer beater layup from Kyle Kruckenberg to end the third quarter made it 41-25 going to the fourth.


“Our defense carried us all night,” Surratt said. “I always tell our kids to let your defense turn into offense and we were able to get some steals and breakaways to help build that lead. That steal by Brody and assist by Fabian to Kyle for the last second layup was huge.”


  Madrid continued to keep a double-digit lead through the final eight minutes of the game, not allowing Coon Rapids-Bayard to push their way back into the game. 


“We have always preached defense since I’ve been here,” Surratt said of the defense this postseason. “Everyone sees what our offense does, but our defense has been really good the last few years. Defense travels. If you want to win big games and give yourself a chance to hang around no matter what is going on, you have to play defense. Our kids have done a good job with it all season.”


The Tigers made 22 shots on the night with four of them coming from behind the three-point line. They also made seven free throws. Madrid had 34 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and four blocks.


Buck had a big night for Madrid with 29 points, on 12-of-15 shooting, to go with five rebounds and four steals. Fabian Ortiz-Alaniz added six points and six rebounds. Toryn Severson chipped in with nine points and three boards. Jake Leonard had a team high 11 rebounds and five points, Kruckenberg adding six points.


  “Brody is tough to guard and when he’s on there’s no stopping him. We needed a pick me up on offense and he provided that spark that kept us in the game early on and then he hit some big threes in the second half to keep us out in front,” Surratt said. “On top of that, he does a great job defensively and on the boards. Kyle, Logan (Klatt) and Toryn did a great job defensively. They face guarded their two best players and did a great job of limiting their touches and forcing other guys to try and beat us. Jake also did a great job on the board as always.”


  Madrid now has 22 wins on the season. Saturday night sees them travel to Carroll to take on the 22 win Woodbine Tigers. Woodbine defeated Exira-EHK, 56-49 in the District 16 championship game.


Woodbine’s top scorer is junior Carter Gruver who puts up 20 points a game and averages nearly five rebounds. Sophomore Jax Pryor is their second leading scorer at 10.3 a game and leads them in rebound with 6.2. 


  Both Madrid and Woodbine allow around 47 points a game, and Woodbine averages nine steals a game. Both teams rebound the ball well and take care of the basketball as well.


 “I don’t know a ton about Woodbine, but they have had a great season and have played some tough teams,” Surratt said. “I know they are fairly young and shoot a lot of threes. They will be a challenge to defend, so we will have to come up with a great plan in order to come out on top.”


 Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Carroll High School.



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