Community R-VI boys seemingly followed a script taken on by the school's girls team in the game against Madison that preceded them; execute a high-energy full-court press for nearly 10 minutes with the goal of causing frustration upon ball handlers, and then reap rewards of scoring easy buckets off turnovers.

The method worked, allowing the Trojans to score Tuesday night's first nine points while jetting off to a 22-6 first quarter lead. By halftime Community boys had their Central Activities Conference host on a lash, leading 36-19, and returned home victoriously winning 62-49.

“I thought first half we did pretty good defensively. A lot of what was seen in this game was a result of what was worked on during our Monday practice. We worked hard on guard, guard, guard and then take away gaps that may appear,” said Trojan boys coach Matt Thomas. “This was one of our better jobs defending collectively as a team, especially in the first half. I think as our lead grew, we got a little lazy in our defending in the second half. We looked good defensively in the first half and that was the big key to our win, but I did not like how often we ended up sending Madison to the free throw line. They might have taken more free throws than field goals in this game.”

Senior guard Caden Escamilla scored a game-high 29 points and Danny Kuda provided 11 to pace the Trojans. Both Hunter Hoeflicker and Garrett Schmidt put in eight points, Case Stafford had four while Kaden Brooks chipped in two.

Community of Laddonia held the Panthers to 3 of 10 shooting from the floor the entire first half as Madison ended up having multiple empty offensive possessions by not releasing a shot. As the defensive pressure loosened in the second half, Madison ended up shooting 31 percent for the game while making 10 of 29 field goals, and going 1-for-6 from the three.

The Trojans meanwhile shot well, at 50-percent from the floor including 25 of 43 field goals.

But the concern raised by coach Thomas about yielding too many free throw opportunities to an opponent is a valid one if Community (4-8, 1-1 CAC) wants to put themselves into a stronger position to garner more wins as the season progresses. Madison ended up setting foot on the stripe 43 times and made good on 26 compared to Community making 2 of 4 free throws.

“Coming into this game we were wanting to stop No. 4 (Caden Escamilla) as he is their top scorer. I thought we guarded him pretty good in the half-court, but he would end up getting a lot of breakaway points to get his 29 and they would score on most of their possessions in the game,” said Madison coach Dalton Armontrout. “I liked how we continued to attack the basket and would draw the foul. We ended up getting to the line 46 times and did our job there, but we need to knock down more of those free throws.”

Freshman Reed Layton led the way for the Panthers (1-8, 0-3 CAC) scoring 12 points. Senior John Clark went 6-for-8 at the free throw line to score 10 points. Joe O'Bannon added nine points and another six came from Tyler Buck.

Community R-VI will host New Franklin on Thursday night instead of its scheduled Friday date due to pending wintry weather. Madison is scheduled to entertain Pilot Grove on Friday night.