TOUGH PLAY: Madison’s Carson Wattenbarger (24) battles with North Harrison’s Cory Smith (12) for a rebound during Saturday’s game. Wattenbarger had 12 points in the Cubs’ 65-51 win, but left the game with an ankle injury late in the third quarter.  (Staff photo by David Campbell)
TOUGH PLAY: Madison’s Carson Wattenbarger (24) battles with North Harrison’s Cory Smith (12) for a rebound during Saturday’s game. Wattenbarger had 12 points in the Cubs’ 65-51 win, but left the game with an ankle injury late in the third quarter. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison answered a late North Harrison rally with one of its own and pulled away for a 65-51 homecoming win Saturday at Salm Gym.

The Cubs, ranked 10th in Class 3A, saw a 14-point third quarter lead dwindle to just two on the strength of a 14-2 North Harrison rally.

But Madison never panicked, got a big 3-pointer from Nick Macon and eight points down the stretch from Tyler Manaugh to pull away for its ninth win in 12 games this season.

"North Harrison is a scrappy bunch and we had to be a scrappy bunch ourselves tonight," Madison coach Pat King said. "I don't know if we played as well tonight as we did last night, but we won the game because we hung with it and I think that has a lot to do with the veterans we have."

Madison (9-3) suffered just its third loss of the season the night before at Silver Creek and was determined not to string together back-to-back losses to sectional foes.

The Cubs never trailed in the game and appeared to be in complete control when six different players hit lay-ups over a four-minute span to push the lead to 47-33 with 2:51 left in the third quarter.

But North Harrison (7-7) battled back. Cory Smith started the Cougar comeback with a 3-pointer and Cameron Mink followed with a short jumper. Missed Cub shots and turnovers fueled the North Harrison run and Smith's three-point play cut the Madison lead to 47-43 at the end of the third.

North Harrison shaved two more points off the lead early in the fourth on a pair of Joseph Hinton free throws before Macon finally stopped the run with a short jumper. Austin Nolot answered on the other end for Harrison to cut the lead back to two.

But starting with Macon's next points, a booming 3-pointer with a hand in his face, the rest of the game belonged to the Cubs. Manaugh used his 6-foot-7 size advantage to take apart the smaller Cougars inside and Landon Perry (3-pointer) and Kyle Tucker (2-pointer) each hit big shots as Madison pushed its lead back to 15 in the closing seconds of the contest.

Manaugh finished with 14 points on just 7-of-9 shooting with 11 rebounds and 6-foot-4 senior Carson Wattenbarger added 12 points and five rebounds before twisting his ankle late in the third quarter.

King said the play of his two bigs was crucial to Madison's success against the five-guard attack of North Harrison.

"We had a size advantage on them and we needed to use that," King said. "I thought Tyler played very well and Carson was very good early. He ended up twisting his ankle but hopefully he'll be OK."

Perry scored 13 points and Macon had a strong overall line of seven points, six rebounds and nine assists. Tucker and Willie Huffman each added seven points and Alex Weaver scored five off the bench.

Chandler Jenkins led North Harrison with 13 points and Smith scored 10.

North Harrison shot just 30 percent from the floor (17-for-56), far below Madison's 48 percent (28-for-58). The Cubs held a dominating rebounding edge (45-27) but committed 16 turnovers, an unusually high amount for the team as of late.

Madison takes to the road on Friday for a Hoosier Hills Conference matchup at Seymour, a game that will kick off a stretch of three games in four days and five games in eight days. The Cubs host crosstown rival Shawe on Saturday, host Floyd Central on Monday, Feb. 10, host Lawrenceburg on Feb. 13 and host Class 2A No. 10 Providence on Feb. 15. The latter two games are make-up contests from earlier in the season.

"We'll be playing a lot of games in a short period of time, but everybody is this time of year, especially because of the weather," King said. "We'll have to stay sharp."

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SATURDAY'S BOYS GAME

at Madison

CLASS 3A No. 10 MADISON 65,

NORTH HARRISON 51



NORTH HARRISON 7 17 19 8 - 51

MADISON 14 18 15 18 - 65



NORTH HARRISON (7-7) - (g)Jenkins 13, (g)Smith 10, (g)Hinton 8, (g)Flock 7, (g)Nolot 4, Knopp 3, Mink 3, Arnold 2, Van Uitert 1, Voyles 0, Bishop 0, Phelps 0.

MADISON (9-3) - (c)Manaugh 14, (g)Perry 13, (f)Wattenbarger 12, (f)Tucker 7, Huffman 7, (g)Macon 7, Weaver 5, Stewart 0, Sauley 0.



3-Point Goals - North Harrison 4 (Hinton 2, Smith 1, Flock 1), Madison 6 (Perry 3, Huffman 1, Macon 1, Wattenbarger 1). Rebounds - North Harrison 27 (Mink 7), Madison 45 (Manaugh 11). Assists - North Harrison 10 (Hinton 2), Madison 17 (Macon 9). Turnovers - North Harrison 6, Madison 16. Total Fouls - North Harrison 13, Madison 17. Free Throws - North Harrison 13-18, Madison 3-4. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - North Harrison hosts Crawford Co. Friday, Madison visits Seymour Friday.