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MA looks for Langford return

Austin Troxell is being heavily recruited as a four-star lineman in football, but the 6-foot-8 junior’s presence has been missed by the Madison Academy basketball team. Troxell, a junior, started at center for the Mustangs’ state championship team in 2014-15 but has missed this season after tearing an ACL during the football playoffs. CONTRIBUTED/PAULETTE BERRYMAN
Austin Troxell is being heavily recruited as a four-star lineman in football, but the 6-foot-8 junior’s presence has been missed by the Madison Academy basketball team. Troxell, a junior, started at center for the Mustangs’ state championship team in 2014-15 but has missed this season after tearing an ACL during the football playoffs. CONTRIBUTED/PAULETTE BERRYMAN

By MIKE EASTERLING / For the Reporter

HUNTSVILLE – When Andy Blackston put together a grueling high school basketball schedule for his Madison Academy boys, little did the coach know the Mustangs would be minus some weapons.

But that’s been the case for the defending Class 3A state champion Mustangs this season.

Madison Academy has been without five-star McDonald’s All-American Josh Langford for a month with a high ankle sprain. The team started the season short-handed when junior Austin Troxell, a four-star lineman in football but at 6-foot-8 a force in the post, was lost to a torn ACL during the football playoffs.

The Mustangs entered this week 13-9 and ranked No. 2 in 3A. They slipped from No. 1 after losing two straight games to 5A, No. 1 Johnson and 6A Bessemer City. A game against 7A, No. 2 Spain Park last weekend was cancelled because of weather.

The Mustangs were set to host 7A, No. 2 Mountain Brook last night. They have games left with 5A Madison County and 6A Muscle Shoals this weekend then finish the regular season against Johnson and Spain Park.

“We’ve got these heavyweights coming up and we’re already without Trox,’’ Blackston said. “Josh has practiced but couldn’t go 100 percent. We hope he’s back (Tuesday), but I don’t know how much he’ll be able to play. The biggest thing is getting him back for the last seven games.’’

The Mustangs will play seven post-season games if they are to return to the state final.

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