HOUND DOG: Madison’s Tanner Sauley (34) defends South Ripley ball-handler Chase Samples during Tuesday’s game at home. Sauley, a senior, had two steals in the game, part of 23 the Cubs racked up in the 68-52 win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
HOUND DOG: Madison’s Tanner Sauley (34) defends South Ripley ball-handler Chase Samples during Tuesday’s game at home. Sauley, a senior, had two steals in the game, part of 23 the Cubs racked up in the 68-52 win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison spotted South Ripley an early six-point lead before ripping off a 21-2 run to pull away for a 68-52 win in boys basketball Tuesday at Salm Gym.

The Class 3A No. 10 Cubs trailed 11-6 after the first six minutes of the game but caught fire in the closing minutes of the first quarter. Nick Macon capped a 10-0 run with a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer to put Madison ahead 15-11.

Madison extended its lead from there to 16 by halftime and by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter before finishing off the 16-point win.

"I thought we got off to a good start even with the switch in the lineup," said Madison coach Pat King, who started all five of his seniors on senior night. "They came out in zone and we made some shots early and in the second quarter stretched it out a bit. They had to switch to man-to-man and I was happy because I really didn't think they could match up with us man-to-man."

Not only did South Ripley struggle to contain Madison, it could do little against the Cubs' swarming full-court press. The Raiders turned the ball over 26 times, 23 thanks to Madison steals.

That defense coupled with an offense that shot 47 percent from the floor was too much for Ripley to overcome.

"I'm thrilled to death for one, that we got the win on senior night," King said. "And two, that we played so well. This is probably the best we've played in two or three weeks."

Madison (14-4) had its greatest success in the second quarter. The Cubs outscored Ripley 23-11 over that eight-minute span and held the Raiders to just four field goals.

South Ripley (9-11) played even with Madison over the final two quarters but the damage was done. The Cubs led by 21 on four different occasions before King took his seniors out one-by-one and Ripley closed the game on a 9-4 run.

Madison had four players reach double figures in scoring. Carson Wattenbarger led the Cubs with 19 points and seven rebounds while Tyler Manaugh had 15 points and eight rebounds. Macon had 15 points, four assists and six steals and Landon Perry had 14 points, four assists and three steals.

"You can go down the list. I think everybody had a good game," King said. "I don't care if they scored a point. They all played good floor games. They missed a couple of lay-ups and that's frustrating for anybody, but the things they did in the middle of the floor were so beneficial to the team. That's what's going to help us in the tournament."

Austin Halcomb had a big game for South Ripley with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Trent Moorhead added 11 points and Joe Dicken scored 10.

Madison visits Switzerland County Friday for a regular season-ending matchup with the Class 2A No. 14 Pacers. Switzerland is 16-3 on the season and King knows his team will have its hands full.

"We end the season with two pretty good opponents and that's what I like to see," King said. "These are good games to get us ready for the tournament next week."

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TUESDAY'S BOYS GAME

at Madison

CLASS 3A No. 10 MADISON 68,

SOUTH RIPLEY 52



SOUTH RIPLEY 11 11 11 19 - 52

MADISON 15 23 13 17 - 68



SOUTH RIPLEY (9-11) - (c)Halcomb 20, (f)Moorhead 11, (g)Dicken 10, (f)Linkmeyer 4, Roepke 3, (g)Meyer 2, Riley 2, Huntington 0, Grider 0, Samples 0, Tucker 0.



MADISON (14-4) - (f)Wattenbarger 19, (c)Manaugh 15, Macon 15, (g)Perry 14, Tucker 3, Weaver 2, (f)King 0, (g)Sauley 0, Bilz 0, White 0, Huffman 0, Stewart 0.



3-Point Goals - South Ripley 3 (Dicken 2, Roepke 1), Madison 5 (Perry 2, Tucker 1, Macon 1, Wattenbarger 1). Rebounds - South Ripley 32 (Halcomb 13), Madison 29 (Manaugh 8). Assists - South Ripley 5 (Linkmeyer 2), Madison 17 (Perry 4, Macon 4). Turnovers - South Ripley 26, Madison 8. Total Fouls - South Ripley 13, Madison 17. Free Throws - South Ripley 7-12, Madison 11-16. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - South Ripley hosts Jac-Cen-Del Friday, Madison visits Switzerland Co. Friday.