MADISON, N.J. - A combination of inexperience and an early deficit that reached as many as 14 points were too much for Madison to overcome against Morristown-Bears as the Dodgers fell 49-37 on Wednesday.
“It’s really tough right now because we’re a young, inexperienced team,” Madison head coach Mike Radzieski said. “Our offense is suffering right now, so when you don’t have the guys out there that can put up points, to be down by so much is tough.”
That offense struggled from the start as Morristown-Beard took a 5-0 lead after the first minute and would extend that lead to 8-0 before senior Sean Haughey scored on a pair of free throws for the Dodgers, three minutes in.
The Crimson continued to make things difficult for Madison offensively as they held a 13-3 lead after the first quarter, with all three Dodger points from Haughey.
“We’re really trying to get it through our leaders on the team, get them initiated early,” Radzieski said. “The thing that hurts us is our lack of toughness. Guys want to rely on the 3-point shot instead of taking it to the hole.”
Morristown-Beard continued to roll in the second as they opened the quarter on a 6-2 run to go up 14 points. Down 14 Haughey knocked down a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run by the Dodgers that made the score 19-14.
The Crimson would not let their lead slip away as they turned up the defense, forcing Madison turnovers, and by the end of the half had a comfortable 12 point lead.
“(Turnovers) were careless,” Radzieski said. “Guys need to value the ball more. We have been talking about it, working on it. I expect us to get better in that area.”
The second half continued to be more of the same as the Dodgers were unable to close the gap on the Crimson.
By the end of the third quarter the score was 34-24, and a basket to open up the fourth quarter cut Morristown-Beard’s lead down to eight but that would be as close as the score would get.
Madison returns to the court Thursday when they travel to Glen Ridge High School.
“Just being more experienced and that will come as the season gets older,” Radzieski said. “Every single game we will get better, take baby steps.”