Julian Walters’ 27 points were not enough in the Madison Mavericks (2-2 Official Basketball Association) 112–99 loss to the Omaha Cuttaz (2-2 OBA).
The Mavericks came out strong but failed to maintain the same high energy throughout the second half. Fatigue set in, and the Mavericks were unable to get defensive stops down the homestretch of the game.
The Mavericks traveled to Omaha shorthanded as they were missing seven players in the contest and only traveled with eight total players.
Among the missing was Dave Turner, the Mavericks player who dropped 23 points in each of the last two games for the team. Chris Costello was out of the lineup as well, a prolific rebounder for the team.
“It’s tough, but I think we got a really, really good team,” Walters said about competing with a limited roster. “You always battle fatigue.”
The game was a close, back-and-forth fight until the closing minutes of the game. Madison led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but Omaha worked their way back in the second and third quarters to build a lead of their own.
The scoring slowed down for Madison in the third quarter, but Walters managed 13 points in the third to keep the Mavericks in it.
“I feel like I am a confident scorer,” Walters said. “I was making some shots that I am used to shooting.”
The Cuttaz then took control of the game in the fourth quarter and squandered any hopes of a road victory for the Mavericks. The fourth-quarter score was 32–22 in favor of the Cuttaz, the opposite of the first quarter when the Mavericks led 32–22.
In the end, Madison fell short against Omaha.
“I want to lead us to a victory every night,” Walters said. “Lead us to a victory regardless of how many points I score.”
Walters’ 27-point outing was backed by 18 points from Roy Boone and 17 from Levon Crawford. Mike Riley dropped 13 points, and Stavon Staples added 10.
The problem for Madison was not offense but defense. Late in the game, they ran out of answers for Omaha’s attacks.
The loss puts the Mavericks at 2-2 a quarter way through the season. Madison is currently sitting in a tie for fifth place in the OBA’s North division, but they could easily climb the rankings with a win this Saturday.
The No. 2 Next Level Grind Titans (3-1 OBA North) are set to play No. 4 Cedar Valley Court Kings (2-1 OBA North). The No. 1 Minneapolis Reign (3-0 OBA North) will play both No. 5 Madison and the No. 3 CEO Kings (2-1 OBA North) this weekend. No matter who wins, the top half of the standings are destined to get shaken up this Saturday.
The Mavericks are set to take on the undefeated Minneapolis Reign in their first true home game of the season. Saturday’s game will take place at the Warner Park Recreation Center on the north side of Madison. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.