BELOIT - The Beloit Memorial boys basketball team is steadily improving.
The results, however, still aren't quite showing up in the standings.
The Purple Knights dropped a tough 52-48 decision to Madison Memorial at Barkin Arena Wednesday night in a game that showed both how far they've come, and how much they still have to go.
The Knights fought hard the entire way against a solid Spartans team, but couldn't make enough plays down the stretch to take down a Madison Memorial team that improved to 10-5 in Big Eight play.
Beloit (2-12 in the Big Eight, 3-15 overall) was led by senior Terrell Ringer, who came off the bench to score 18 points, including three straight baskets in the final few minutes to keep the Knights within striking distance.
"Terrell hasn't been playing like himself lately," Beloit Memorial coach Dondre Bell said. "We spread the floor for him and drew some plays up just for him. We wanted to allow him to do what he does best, and that's attack the basket. He was able to get going tonight, and he's learning so much. For a while, he was kind of in a freeze and trying to process things. Tonight, he was just able to go out there and play."
Ringer said he's doing his best to make sure he ends his career with a bang.
"I just went into 'Mamba mode' at the end," Ringer said. "I was going to do anything I could to make sure we didn't lose. I thought we came out with a lot of energy tonight and we played a lot better than we had been."
Energy and consistent effort are two things Bell has preached as the season has worn on. It appears as though the Knights are getting the message. Home games
"I really thought we were going to go out there and win tonight, and we almost did," Bell said. "Our heart and our character has changed completely from what it was in November. The guys have completely bought in, and they understand what it means to be a family now. We talked about the history of the program. Here tonight, we honored players from 50 years ago. They know that if they can put a mark on the program, they won' t ever be forgotten."
After a back-and-forth first half that resulted in a 24-23 Madison Memorial advantage, the Spartans threw the first punch in the second half, going on a 7-0 run to take a 37-28 lead with 10:50 remaining.
The Knights punched right back, scoring 10 straight points to tied the game at 39 with 5:44 left. From there, the Spartans hit a few key shots, and enough free throws in the end to ward off the Knights.
"Our guys got tired tonight," Bell said. "We've had to miss a lot of practice recently because of the weather, and you could see that in their legs tonight. I thought that was the difference in the game."
• UP NEXT: Beloit has a pair of games this weekend, as they will travel to Verona Friday and host Sun Prairie Saturday.
• BOXSCORE: Madison Memorial 52,Beloit 48.
Madison Memorial......... 24 28 - 52
Beloit Memorial............ 23 25 - 48
MADISON MEMORIAL - Ellingson 1 3-5 6, Bates 2 4-4 10, Brown 2 0-0 4, Caropreso 4 2-2 11, Schaefer 3 2-4 8, Yu 2 1-4 5, Lewis 3 0-0 6, Younk 1 0-0 1, Bates 0. Totals 18 12-19 52.
BELOIT MEMORIAL - Bach 1 3-4 5, Cook 3 2-3 8, Ringer 8 1-2 18, Bell 2 0-0 5, Ganiyu 2 0-0 4, Boyd 1 1-1 3, Chandler 2 0-0 5. Totals 19 7-10 48. 3-point goals - MM 2 (Ellingson 1, Caropreso 1), BM 3 (Ringer 1, Bell 1, Chandler 1). Total fouls - MM 12, BM 0.