BIG GAME: Madison’s Carson Wattenbarger goes to the basket over Scottsburg’s Jordan Coomer (11) for two of his game-high 23 points in the Cubs’ 71-57 win Friday at home. Wattenbarger scored 17 of his points in the first half to help fend off the Warriors. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
BIG GAME: Madison’s Carson Wattenbarger goes to the basket over Scottsburg’s Jordan Coomer (11) for two of his game-high 23 points in the Cubs’ 71-57 win Friday at home. Wattenbarger scored 17 of his points in the first half to help fend off the Warriors. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Carson Wattenbarger made the most of a rare start by scoring a career-high 23 points to lead Madison over Scottsburg 71-57 at home Friday for the Cubs' third-straight win.

Wattenbarger, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, hit three 3-pointers and had 17 points by halftime and Madison needed every point as pesky Scottsburg refused to go away until the final moments of the game.

"One thing we talked about with the kids is that teams are going to guard four of you and leave the fifth one alone," Madison coach Pat King said. "Carson hit some early shots and really played well. He didn't force the shots and took what they gave him. The other guys did a good job of recognizing that Carson was hot and they got him the ball. And we needed those points. Without them, I'm not sure we lead at the half."

Wattenbarger scored in a variety of ways. Along with his three treys, he grew more confident with taking the ball to the hoop and got three scores on strong drives.

It was Wattenbarger, along with sophomore Nick Macon, that keyed Madison's big run late in the first quarter that allowed the Cubs to take control.

Macon, who finished with 18 points, hit a two and a three to break open an 11-9 game. After Kirk Hardin hit a basket for Scottsburg, Wattenbarger knocked down his second 3-pointer of the quarter and added a bucket to push the Madison lead to 21-11.

The Cubs (5-4) moved ahead 30-17 late in the second quarter before Scottsburg made a late run to close the gap to eight (35-27) by the break. Wattenbarger scored Madison's last nine points of the quarter to keep the Cubs ahead.

"What I like about this lineup is that we have five scorers on the floor, each of which has had at least 20 points in a game," King said. "How many teams can say they have five 20-point scorers in the starting lineup? That's hard to prepare for."

Scottsburg hung around throughout the third and trailed only 48-40 heading into the fourth. But Madison blew open the game by scoring 12-straight points to open the final frame and go ahead by 20 at 60-40.

The Warriors (2-7) were not ready to quit, and answered with a 10-2 run that pulled them back to within 12 (62-50) with just three minutes left in the game.

But Macon scored five points and Wattenbarger two more to key a 7-0 run that put the game away.

As impressive as Wattenbarger and Macon were, Madison benefited from 26 Scottsburg turnovers in the game. The Warriors were an impressive 26-for-30 from the free-throw line and Scottsburg hit more freebies than Madison attempted (18).

Christian Evans scored 17 points and Hardin had 13 to lead Scottsburg. Landon Perry had 12 points for Madison, which hit seven 3-pointers and saw seven different players score.

"I was really pleased with the way our bench played," King said. "They are really starting to understand their roles and the guys are starting to figure out that they don't have to come in and score. If they do the little things that help us win they are going to get playing time. And it shows."

The victory was Madison's third-straight over their archrival and eighth in the past 10 meetings.

It was also the Cubs' third-straight win and put Madison back over the .500 mark for just the second time this season. It was an important win for the Cubs who will return to their schedule of double-header weekends starting next week at New Albany.

"Hopefully we've learned how to win a little bit and take that and not be complacent," King said. "We can use that energy and we recognize what it takes to win. And when we run into struggles against New Albany we won't fold. We'll be able to bounce back and meet those challenges and fight that and be able to stay in and maybe steal a win down there."

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FRIDAY'S BOYS GAME

at Madison

MADISON 71, SCOTTSBURG 57



SCOTTSBURG 11 16 13 17 - 57

MADISON 21 14 13 23 - 71



SCOTTSBURG (2-7) - (g)Evans 17, (f)Hardin 13, (g)Coomer 7, Morris 5, (f)Elam 4, Gross 4, (g)Boswell 3, Boyd 3, Gillis 1, Soloe 0, Helton 0, Davis 0.

MADISON (5-4) - (f)Wattenbarger 23, (g)Macon 18, (g)Perry 12, (f)Thurston 7, Huffman 5, (c)Woolard 4, Vaughn 2, Sauley 0, King 0.



3-Point Goals - Scottsburg 3 (Boswell 1, Morris 1, Boyd 1), Madison 7 (Wattenbarger 3, Perry 2, Macon 1, Huffman 1). Total Fouls - Scottsburg 18, Madison 24. Free Throws - Scottsburg 26-30, Madison 14-18. Fouled Out - Scottsburg: Evans. Next Game - Scottsburg hosts North Harrison today. Madison travels to New Albany Friday.