Madrid takes down Woodward-Granger for third straight win

Sean Cordy
Madrid's Erin Schieltz looks to move the ball against a couple Woodward-Granger players on Tuesday, Feb. 2 in Woodward.

Coming down to the wire, Madrid (5-13) stuck the landing Tuesday with a 27-26 road win over Woodward-Granger (4-14). The win marked the Tigers' third straight and sparked an ear-piercing celebration after finally getting over the hump against the Hawks.

Off the edge

There's been plenty of green in the ledger as Woodward won the previous six matchups coming into Tuesday. But with the previous two wins being decided by one possession, Madrid has been right on the edge of reversing the script.

Down 15-14 at halftime, Madrid took an important step to steal the lead as Macy Gibbons put up a deep two-pointer to take the lead. Woodward was afforded one lead change the rest of the way and was buried midway through the fourth quarter once Alivia Maeder sank a shot at the top of the arc up 25-19.

Madrid's Macy Gibbons looks for an open teammate on Tuesday, Feb. 2 during a conference match-up with Woodward-Granger.

"We locked in on defense. We shut down their leading scorer. I can't commend them enough for what they did," Madrid head coach Jim Mertz said.

More than big performances swinging momentum, the game ultimately came down to isolated moments from team leaders like Erin Schieltz (7 points) hitting a late shot after Woodward's Grace Deputy (12 points) erased a 25-19 Madrid lead. 

Feel the rainbow

Black, orange, green and yellow were all on full display with an enthusiastic crowd, but both teams are sure to see some blue and purple bruises Wednesday after a scrappy battle.

Whether it was Darby Nixon diving to prevent a steal late in the game or Ava Petersen and Macy Gibbons exchanging steals in succession, both teams had intense, game-changing moments. For Woodward head coach Gary Dresback, that wasn't always a good thing.

Darby Nixon is introduced during Woodward-Granger's home match-up against Madrid on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

"They lose their focus. They see Madrid [and see a big rival] and they don't understand how to be ready to go," Dresback said, disappointed in how many turnovers helped push the game away. "I think it's their mental inability to play Madrid more than anything else."

Red Alert

But it's not just Woodward that the Tigers have been able to mentally rundown. Tuesday marked Madrid's third win in a row, putting the rest of the conference on notice.

"I don't know if there's a more dangerous team in the West Central Activities Conference right now," Mertz said.

Though the wins against Interstate 35 (3-11) and West Central Valley (8-10) serve as additional proof, Mertz said the game against Pleasantville (9-8) was a truly pivotal moment for his "locked in" squad.

Madrid looks to get a fourth straight win Friday hosting Glidden-Ralston. Woodward has a tough matchup that same night at Des Moines Christian. 

Erin Schieltz moves the ball up the floor for Madrid during a match-up with Woodward-Granger on Tuesday, Feb. 2.