Madison Heights Madison junior Anthony Fuller gets up with the ball during a game against Eastpointe High earlier this season. Madison finished the season at 21-4 overall and won both division and district titles.

Madison Heights Madison junior Anthony Fuller gets up with the ball during a game against Eastpointe High earlier this season. Madison finished the season at 21-4 overall and won both division and district titles.

Photo by Sean Work


Madison boys basketball coach reflects on another season of championships

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published March 15, 2019

 Madison Heights Madison senior Sylvester Whitley contends with two defenders from Detroit Pershing during a Division 3 district final March 1. Madison won its second consecutive district title this season.

Madison Heights Madison senior Sylvester Whitley contends with two defenders from Detroit Pershing during a Division 3 district final March 1. Madison won its second consecutive district title this season.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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For the second straight year, Madison Heights Madison’s boys basketball team ended its season with multiple championships to its credit.

After winning both a Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division title and a district title last season, this year’s Eagles’ squad came back to win another district championship, and finished on top of the MAC Silver.

Madison finished at 21-4 overall and 9-1 in the MAC Silver.

After beating Capac High in a Division 3 regional semifinal, the Eagles’ season ended with an 84-51 loss against Detroit Edison Public School Academy in a regional final March 7.

“The season, overall, is one of the best seasons Madison’s had in recent history, from what I understand,” said coach Karl Williams. “We achieved a lot. … It worked out pretty well.”

Williams credited his seniors — Austin Brown, Sylvester Whitley, Cameron Carodine, Jalen Wesson and Tanner Barndollar —  for their contributions to this season’s Madison squad.

“Great senior leadership made the season very pleasurable,” Williams said. “Five good seniors that were very reliable and good leaders.”

Williams completed his third season as Madison’s coach. When him and his staff joined the program, from his perspective, Madison Athletic Director Jimmy Brown wanted them to “set the course and keep us on course.”

“I believe that was achieved,” Williams said. “I think we are on course to maintain and be a solid team to deal with in the MAC for the next coming years.”

The core of Madison’s basketball squad was also part of the school’s football team, which went 13-1 last season, with the Eagles’ only loss coming in the Division 7 state final game.

It wasn’t long after the football season ended that a new basketball campaign had begun, and Williams acknowledged his players for having to “flip it so quick.”

“My whole starting lineup was on the football field the Saturday before the season actually started that following Tuesday,” Williams said. “We came right out and won our first three games, and that just set the tone. What I learned from the season is the kids are very resilient, and they are good, excellent kids. They listen; they’re very coachable. It was a blessing to have that this year.”

Williams is of the opinion that a “winning culture” within Madison’s athletics programs can also have an impact academically.

“I think that trickles over to actually the school itself, as far as academics, the behavior of the kids inside the school,” Williams said. “If you got a good athletic program, nine times out of 10, the culture you set there trickles into the school. … That’s one thing I’m very proud of. None of the kids got in serious trouble. … They all (were) consistent and leaders, and I think that’s a very good look to the Madison school district.”

Although Madison will be without a big chunk of this year’s team next season, Williams has already thought about the players he expects to return.

“I think we got a good, new, young nucleus of guys coming from JV,” Williams said. “Next five guys were either sophomores or juniors, and I think those guys got a lot of experience. So, I think our next season should hold up pretty well.”

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