After his team gave up 71 points against Parsippany Hills Jan. 22, Madison varsity boys basketball coach Joe Reel knew the season was at its breaking point.

“It looked like we slept walked through that entire game,” he said. “We were fortunate to have three practices in a row later that week, where we could get back to the basics and focus on the little things that brought us success earlier in the season.”

Since that Parsippany Hills loss last month—the team’s fourth straight defeat that left the Dodgers at 4-8 for the season—the Madison boys team has won six out of its last seven games with an average margin of victory of 21 points to bring its record up to 11-9.

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The Dodgers’ success has come in large part from junior forward Andy Christos, who currently averages about 20 points per game, according to Reel.

“We just continue to get better every day, and we know we can beat anyone. We are trying to earn respect for Madison basketball,” Christos said.

Four-year varsity starter Santi Quintero has seen his fair share of ups and downs throughout his Madison basketball career, but it appears that times are changing for the Dodgers.

“The big difference is now we are playing with confidence and expecting to win,” Quintero said.

Now in the season’s final leg, the Dodgers have four more regular season games—and four more opportunities to further improve their record—before the state tournament begins Feb. 27. Madison will play Rutherford High School in its first postseason faceoff.

Next up for the Dodgers is a 7 p.m. Tuesday game versus the West Morris Wolfpack (5-16) inside the Madison High School main gym at 170 Ridgedale Ave. Senior players Griffin Lutz, Ryan Manna and Santi Quintero will be honored.

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