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Fitzgerald's Tony Jackson takes the ball to the hole against Madison Monday night. (The Macomb Daily/RAY J. SKOWRONEK)
Basketball - Boys
BOYS BASKETBALL: Fitzgerald slips past Madison, 61-56 TOUT VIDEO
Fitzgerald's DeAngelo Hutson brings the ball upcourt in the first half against Madison. (The Macomb Daily/RAY J. SKOWRONEK)
Fitzgerald's Aron Black (15) gets serious on the defensive end. (The Macomb Daily/RAY J. SKOWRONEK)
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Tony Jackson hit for 25 points and the host Spartans used a 23-6 third quarter after trailing at halftime to hold off Madison 61-56 in a Macomb Area Conference Blue Division barn-burner.
“Our intensity in the second half,” said Jackson, a 6-foot-3 senior. “We rebounded the ball and scored. We have a great team – we can rely on each other.”
Senior DeAngelo Hutson added 14 points as Fitzgerald improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the MAC Blue Division.
“Big win,” Fitzgerald coach Joe Kopicki said after the game, which was a makeup of a game cancelled last month due to weather conditions.
“Anytime we can get a win over Madison is big,” Kopicki said. “We had a quality win on Friday at Romeo and all that effort we had heavy legs tonight. It was a very good win.”
Madison (6-4 overall, 3-2 MAC Blue) had a chance to tie the game with eight seconds left, but Davon Payne’s 3-pointer bounced high off the rim. Jackson was fouled and hit two free throws to secure the victory. Payne was brilliant for the Eagles with 16 points, including three 3-pointers.
“Very disappointed,” Madison coach Matt Ferguson said. “We let them back in the game. We were up 12 at half (32-20), but we’re young. We needed to make a run. We just didn’t handle it. We got to get over the hump.
“We’re very capable,” Ferguson said, “but we need to be stronger, tougher.”
In a nail-biting, transition basketball fourth quarter, Payne nailed a 3-pointer from way out to cut Fitzgerald’s lead to 57-56 with 59 ticks left.
But Jackson hit 1-of-2 free throws to make it 58-56 and senior Jeff McDougal (6 points) hit another free throw for a 59-56 lead.
Madison's Daniel Bowen hit a free throw to pull the Eagles to 56-53 with 1:27 left, but McDougal countered with a free throw to extend the Spartans lead to 57-53.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Jackson noted. “We’re playing good.”
Hutson's two free throws gave Fitz a 54-52 lead then Jackson snuck in for an offensive rebound and layup for a 56-52 advantage with 1:50 remaining. Jackson hit a free throw for a 52-50 lead.
Fitzgerald hit 9-of-18 free throws in the fourth quarter and was 18-for-33 at the foul line, while Madison was 7-of-11 at the charity stripe.
Madison’s Anthony Love (7 points) tied the game 52-52 with 3:07 left on a layup – the last time the game was deadlocked.
“Credit Fitzgerald,” Ferguson said. “One day our guys are going to be good. We’re going to have to build on it and get ready for our next game against Imlay City – and they’re undefeated.”
Madison’s Alondre Williams scored on a layup to cut Fitz's lead to 51-48 but Love followed with a tough bucket to make it 51-50
Payne hit a pair of free throws to cut Madison’s deficit to 43-40, but Jackson nailed a jumper and hit two free throws followed by a steal and score for a 49-42 Fitzgerald lead.
The host Spartans outscored Madison 23-6 in the decisive third quarter as Stanley Weaver nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to give Fitzgerald a 43-38 lead.
Aron Black's put back gave the Spartans its first lead since the first quarter, 40-38. McDougal led the comeback and scored on a fast break bucket to make it 38-35. Jackson then stole the ball and tied the game 38-38.
Hutson popped a short-range jumper to cut visiting Madison's lead to 38-33 with 3 minutes left in the quarter. Daniel Bowen hit a jumper and then blocked a shot to lift the Eagles early in the third.
McDougal and Jerimiah Becker (5 points) opened the third quarter with buckets to cut Madison’s lead to 32-24.
In the second quarter, junior Matthew Crews came (10 points) off the bench to score eight points and give Madison the largest lead of the game at 32-20 at halftime. The Eagles outscored the home team 19-5 in the second.
Crews scored on a short jumper for a 27-19 advantage and a Daniel Feagin jumper gave Madison a 10-point advantage 29-19.
Payne scored on a runner in the lane and Madison found itself on top 25-17.
Payne had 11 points at halftime and Jackson had 11 for Fitzgerald at the intermission.
Junior Jaylin Golson provided a power slam dunk and Payne hit a 3-pointer to give Madison an 18-17 lead early.
In the first eight minutes, Jamar Golly hit a 3-pointer from near the sideline with 4 seconds left in the quarter to give the Spartans a 15-13 lead – its first lead since it was 2-0.
Fitzgerald plays at Port Huron Northern in another MAC Blue Division game, while Madison plays unbeaten Imlay City in a non-league game on Wednesday.
Madison 13 19 6 18 -- 56
Fitzgerald 15 5 23 18 -- 61
MADISON (6-4): Jaylin Golson 6, Davon Payne 16, Daniel Bowen 4, Armani Nelson 0, Anthony Love 7, Marqwen Carruthers 3,Daniel Feagin 3, Alondre Williams 5, Matthew Crews 10, Da’Jon Watson 2. Totals 14 (7) 7-11 56.
FITZGERALD (8-1): Jeff McDougal 6, DeAngelo Hutson 14, Tony Jackson 25, Jeremiah Becker 5, Aron Black 3, Jamar Golly 3, Darnell Howard 3, Brandon Carlini 2. Totals 17 (3) 18-33 61.
Last Updated: 2/3/2014 11:47:49 PM EST