Dwight Brill understands the patience it takes to resurrect a program.
In 2013, he took over a Madison County girls basketball program that had hit the reset button and was looking to build from the ground up.
Six years later, Brill’s team has built itself into a contender in the always competitive Bull Run District. The Mountaineers showcased that growth last Monday afternoon with a 61-22 home victory over Orange County to sweep the season series with the Hornets.
“Orange is rebuilding and we’ve been there,” Brill said. “I was there six years ago. I think what helps us is keep that momentum going.”
Madison County (6-3) set the tone early on by knocking down a trio of 3-pointers to start the game and take a commanding lead.
Sterlyn Woodward and Sophia Adams tallied five points apiece in the first quarter as the Mountaineers built a 19-1 lead after eight minutes of action.
After a rocky start, Orange County (1-7) finally settled down and became more competitive. Olivia Sciabbarrasi scored five points, including a big 3-point play, to trim the lead to 23-9 with 3:15 left in the half.
The momentum would be short-lived as Dy’Ehisa Tyler converted a turnover into a layup as the Mountaineers built a 29-10 halftime lead.
“We’re unselfish,” Brill said. “We’re kind of ready for the [winter] break. We’re playing good ball right now and I think we’re just getting better.”
The Hornets tried to respond again in the second half as Margaret Johnson knocked down a big jumper to trim the lead to 34-17 with 5:08 left in the quarter. That would be as close as Orange County would get as Madison County closed the game on a 27-5 run to extend its winning streak to four games in a row.
Tyler, who is in her first year on varsity, posted a career-high 17 points. The sophomore guard scored 12 points in the second half to put the game out of reach.
Adams tallied 10 points and Woodward added nine more in the win. Kate McLaren registered eight points in the post and Jewell Cropp chipped in seven more off the bench.
Brill said balanced scoring and a commitment on both ends of the floor have been staples of the program since he took over.
“We only have two seniors, so we’re young,” Brill said. “But we’re very athletic. Everybody can really handle the ball and we’re pretty good defensively.”
Sciabbarrasi scored nine points to lead Orange County. Lauren Roebuck added three more off the bench as the Hornets dropped their fourth game in a row.
Brill hopes Monday’s victory will serve his team well when they come back from winter break with a nondistrict showdown against Fluvanna County in January.
“We had a big win the other night against Page, so hopefully it sets us up,” Brill said. “Hopefully, being competitive against Fluvanna County and our district. Our district’s tough, but I think we’re pretty decent.”
The team was scheduled to host Fluvanna Monday and travel to Stonewall Jackson Friday.