Abby Ferland of Monmouth Academy goes for a layup while being guarded by Marah Hall of Madison in Monmouth on Friday.  (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

MONMOUTH — For Monmouth, games against Madison just mean a little something extra.

When the Mustangs faced their MVC rival Friday night, some of the players had to give a little something extra. It paid off with a 53-38 win in a Class C South girls’ basketball clash.

The nerves associated with such a meeting were evident in the opening minutes, with shots from both near and far not finding the bottom of the hoop. But the Bulldogs (10-2) jumped on the back of senior guard Sydney LeBlanc, who scored all eight of her team’s points in the first quarter.

The Mustangs (12-1), meanwhile, used baskets from four different players to take an 11-8 lead. Audrey Fletcher banked in a long 2-pointer at the buzzer.

Lauren Hay was the first Bulldog scorer not named Sydney LeBlanc after hitting a pair of free throws eight seconds into the second. That cut the deficit to one, but the Mustangs stretched their lead to double digits by halftime, 32-21.

“Once we got hitting some shots it opened it up a little bit,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said.

LeBlanc got back into scoring in the final minute of the half with a layup off a turnover. She scored just five points after totaling eight in the first quarter.

“I think they just played tough man-to-man defense (against Sydney),” Madison coach Albert Veneziano said.

Tia Day paced the Mustangs with 12 of her 15 points in the second.

The Mustangs came out of the halftime break early for some warmup shots, and that translated to a fast start to this quarter, getting up by as much as 20 midway through the period. Then the momentum came to a screeching halt. Madison ended the quarter on a 9-0 run.

“I just complimented them on coming out, playing a good four minutes of the third quarter, and that’s what we asked them to do in the locker room because that’s usually the key thing,” Wing said, “and then I think they thought the game was over, maybe.”

The Bulldogs kept the Mustangs quiet late in the third thanks to a suffocating full-court press.

“I think we extended a little bit more. I don’t know if we can do that against them for 32 minutes,” Veneziano said.

Madison cut the deficit to single digits on a short jumper by Hay with six minutes to go, and then another Hay jumper cut it to eight with just over four minutes to play. But a 3 from Kaeti Butterfield less than a minute later was the dagger the Mustangs were looking for, starting a 9-2 game-ending run.

“Personally, once you start hitting shots and knocking down shots you kind of get into rhythm, and then you kind of start to forget about the fact that you’re tired,” Buttefield said. “And then when one person starts knocking down shots, then the whole team kind of follows and everything just kind of falls into place.”

Butterfield finished with 10 points, all in the second half, and helped make Hay work for her nine points.

The Mustangs needed her, with Day and Abbey Allen both battling injuries and fellow big Destiny Clough battling foul trouble.

“I (told the girls after the game) especially the second half of this game it was more of a game of guts than anything,” Wing said. “They just dug down.”

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Abbey Allen, left, of Monmouth Academy battles for a rebound with Marah Hall, right, and Emily Edgerly of Madison in Monmouth on Friday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Hannah Anderson of Monmouth keeps the ball in bounds while bringing the ball up the court against Ashley Emery of Madison in Monmouth on Friday.  (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Kaeti Butterfield of Monmouth attempts to get a shot off through the defense of Brooke Ross (42) and Lauren Hay of Madison in Monmouth on Friday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Julia Johnson of Monmouth brings the ball up the court against Madison in Monmouth on Friday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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