GOOD TIMES: Madison’s (above, from left) Sage Sproles, Delany Liter, Katie Hartman, Raven Lee, Kaitlin Rice and Ireland Falconberry celebrate on the bench toward the end of the Cubs’ 56-42 sectional win over Corydon on Wednesday. Madison’s Alex Thurnall shoots over Corydon’s Aly Chambers (below, 22) for one of her two key second-half 3-pointers. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
GOOD TIMES: Madison’s (above, from left) Sage Sproles, Delany Liter, Katie Hartman, Raven Lee, Kaitlin Rice and Ireland Falconberry celebrate on the bench toward the end of the Cubs’ 56-42 sectional win over Corydon on Wednesday. Madison’s Alex Thurnall shoots over Corydon’s Aly Chambers (below, 22) for one of her two key second-half 3-pointers. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
CHARLESTOWN - It took Madison two quarters to find its rhythm, but once that happened the Lady Cubs were off to the races.

Madison, ranked seventh in Class 3A, trailed Corydon Central by three at halftime in the opening round of Sectional 30 at Charlestown on Wednesday. But halftime adjustments led to a better second half and the Lady Cubs pulled away for a 56-42 win.

"We came out in the second half and said that we're not going to play their ball anymore," said Madison junior center Olivia Crozier, who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. "We're going to run, we're going to play ball like we know how, we're going to make smart passes and we did it."

Madison (14-2) advances to the sectional semifinals where it will face Silver Creek (7-15) on Friday. The other semifinal game will feature Scottsburg (15-5) against Charlestown (14-7).

The win was the 50th of Madison coach Willie Humes' short head coaching career, but first in three meetings with Corydon. Part of the reason for that is the Panthers' match-up zone defense that has slowed the Cubs down and forced them into bad shots.

That zone was in full effect in the first half. Corydon (12-8), the defending sectional champion, led by as many as seven in the second quarter before the Cubs began chipping away. Macky Hecox scored three points and Katie Hartman had a strong drive to the basket for two to cut the deficit to 25-23 at halftime.

If Madison was going to reverse the fate it has suffered against Corydon the past two years it was going to have to change the tempo of the game. That was the message Humes gave his team at halftime.

"In the first half we really weren't playing our type of game," Humes said. "We had a talk about playing Cub ball, playing our type of game. We came out and picked it up. We picked the defense up. Defense wins games."

Madison's defense took over the final two quarters. The Cubs attacked Corydon's ball-handlers and swarmed the Panthers with sideline traps. As the turnovers began to mount, the frustration began to show for Corydon, which fell out of its rhythm on offense and began rushing shots.

Delanie Jones tied the game at 30-30 with a pair of free throws at the 5:34 mark of the third quarter. After a turnover, Alex Thurnall drilled a 3-pointer from the right side to give Madison the lead.

A missed Corydon shot led to a Cub run-out. Jones missed the lay-up in traffic, but Thurnall followed with the rebound and put-back and Madison went up five.

The Cubs still led by five at the end of the third and then stretched out their lead in the fourth, thanks to another big shot by Thurnall.

Aly Chambers, who led all scorers with 20 points, hit a 3-pointer for Corydon to cut the lead to two at the start of the fourth quarter. But Thurnall's second 3-pointer of the half - a bank shot from the middle of the arc - kick-started an 8-0 run to push the Madison lead to 10 with 2:19 to play.

"Alex struggled in the first half but we told her to keep shooting," Humes said. "She hit some big shots in the second half. They were huge."

Down 10, Corydon had little chance to claw back with two minutes to play. The Panthers managed just two free throws down the stretch.

The victory was the Cubs' 11th in their last 14 postseason games, but Crozier admitted that there were still nerves among the veteran team.

"It wasn't that bad until about three minutes before the game and then we got really nervous. At least I did," Crozier said with a smile.

"The first game is always the worse. Man, I know I was nervous," Humes said.

Whitney Wynn scored nine of her 14 points in the first half to keep the Cubs in the game and also added three rebounds and four assists. Thurnall scored 10 points and had four rebounds and Hecox had nine points and four rebounds.

Chambers was the only Panther to score more than six points. The 5-foot-2 senior also had five rebounds.

Corydon out-rebounded Madison 32-28 and hit five 3-pointers, but the Panthers committed 16 turnovers to the Cubs' six. Madison also shot 41 percent (19-for-46) from the floor to Corydon's 36 percent (16-for-44).

Madison now stands one win away from reaching its fourth-consecutive sectional championship game. The Cubs will face Silver Creek, which rallied from an 11-0 deficit to beat Salem 60-54 in Wednesday's other game.

The Cubs defeated Silver Creek 61-43 on Jan. 14.

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CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 30

Opening Round

at Charlestown

CLASS 3A No. 7 MADISON 56,

CORYDON CENTRAL 42



MADISON 12 11 16 17 - 56

CORYDON 16 9 9 8 - 42



MADISON (14-2) - (c)Crozier 16, (f)Wynn 14, (g)Thurnall 10, (f)Hecox 9, (g)Jones 5, Hartman 2, Rice 0, Lee 0, Falconberry 0, Liter 0.

CORYDON (12-8) - (g)Chambers 20, (f)Oliver 6, (g)Wilkerson 4, John 4, (f)Frederick 4, Saulman 3, (c)Mosley 1, Smith 0, Dagenhart 0, Nalley 0, Fisher 0.



3-Point Goals - Madison 4 (Thurnall 2, Jones 1, Wynn 1), Corydon 5 (Chambers 4, Saulman 1). Rebounds - Madison 28 (Crozier 12), Corydon 32 (Frederick 9). Assists - Madison 13 (Wynn 4), Corydon 7 (Saulman 2, Mosley 2). Turnovers - Madison 6, Corydon 16. Total Fouls - Madison 11, Corydon 17. Free Throws - Madison 14-20, Corydon 5-8. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Madison plays Silver Creek in the 3A Sectional semifinals Friday. Corydon's season ends.