SENIOR SENDOFF: Madison senior Hannah Bickers hugs assistant coach Dwight Inskeep as head coach Willie Humes applauds as Bickers comes off the floor toward the end of Saturday afternoon’s game. Bickers, along with fellow seniors Hannah Cain and Cadie Povaleri, were honored before their final home game and with an ovation near the end of Madison’s 72-42 blowout of South Ripley. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
SENIOR SENDOFF: Madison senior Hannah Bickers hugs assistant coach Dwight Inskeep as head coach Willie Humes applauds as Bickers comes off the floor toward the end of Saturday afternoon’s game. Bickers, along with fellow seniors Hannah Cain and Cadie Povaleri, were honored before their final home game and with an ovation near the end of Madison’s 72-42 blowout of South Ripley. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison put its recent struggles on Saturday afternoons behind it in a big way with a 72-42 win over South Ripley Saturday at home.

The Lady Cubs, ranked 12th in Class 3A, had lost on each of the last four Saturday afternoons they had played. But Madison had no such problems this time and wasted little effort in taking control of the game.

Madison (14-4) passed the ball into the post on each of its first five possessions and sophomore center Olivia Crozier responded with three quick baskets and frontcourt-mate Macky Hecox added two baskets as the Cubs built a 10-4 lead.

The lead only got bigger from there. Crozier scored 12 points in the first quarter alone as Madison went ahead 21-7 and the Cubs never looked back while rolling to the easy win.

"When Olivia gets that ball in there she's pretty hard to stop," Madison coach Willie Humes said. "We knew we would have an advantage with Olivia and Macky and we used it."

Madison blew the game open in the second period. With full-court pressure forcing turnovers and Crozier changing shots inside, the Cubs' 14-2 run to open the second put Madison ahead 35-9 with 3:57 left in the half.

It was at that point that Humes started substituting liberally. Sending five players in at a time, Madison spent the rest of the game getting all of its players plenty of minutes. As it turned out, all 10 in uniform scored.

"We probably could have scored 100 if we had wanted to but there is no reason to do that," Humes said. "Our second five was playing as well as our first five and I was really happy to see that. We're going to need that as we get into the sectional."

South Ripley (13-6) put together an 8-4 run to close the first half and trail 39-17 at the break. But Madison outscored the Raiders 18-7 in the third to pull away for good.

The only drama left in the game was whether Madison's seniors would get a chance to break into the scoring column on senior "night." All three, Hannah Bickers, Hannah Cain and Cadie Povaleri, fought off nerves and the trio, who average nearly 20 points a game, combined for just 11.

"There were some emotions and there were some nerves, you could see that," Humes said. "I know Hannah Cain was so nervous before the start that you could see her shaking. But once the game started they turned it off."

Crozier finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-1 sophomore was 10-of-12 from the floor and impacted every play she was involved in.

Crozier was the only Cub in double figures but Hecox, Alex Thurnall and Emily Holland scored eight points each and Povaleri added seven. Holland, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, also had nine rebounds while Povaleri had five assists.

Allie Linkmeyer led South Ripley with 15 points and 12 rebounds but also had 11 turnovers. Rachel Hensley had 11 points and seven rebounds.

At one point in the fourth quarter South Ripley had scored more points from the free-throw line than from the floor. The Raiders ended up 17-for-25 (68 percent) from the line and 12-of-42 (29 percent) on field goals.

Madison was 28-for-66 (42 percent) and 12-of-17 (71 percent) from the line.

Madison closes out the regular season with two road games this week - at Franklin County on Tuesday and at Charlestown on Friday - where wins in both games would allow the Lady Cubs to set the school record for regular-season wins. The overall win record for the team is 19.

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SATURDAY'S GIRLS GAME

at Madison

3A No. 12 MADISON 72,

SOUTH RIPLEY 42



SOUTH RIPLEY 7 10 7 18 - 42

MADISON 21 18 18 15 - 72



SOUTH RIPLEY (13-6) - (g)Linkmeyer 15, (c)Hensley 11, (f)Wilhoit 4, (f)Steinhauer 4, (g)Cumberworth 2, Gloyd 2, Forwalt 2, Schwarte 2.

MADISON (14-4) - (c)Crozier 21, (f)Hecox 8, Thurnall 8, Holland 8, (f)Povaleri 7, Wynn 7, Jones 5, Hartman 4, (g)Cain 3, (g)Bickers 1.



3-Point Goals - South Ripley 1 (Wilhoit 1), Madison 4 (Thurnall 2, Jones 1, Cain 1). Rebounds - South Ripley 40 (Linkmeyer 12), Madison 38 (Crozier 10). Assists - South Ripley 4 (Cumberworth 2), Madison 19 (Povaleri 5). Turnovers - South Ripley 27, Madison 10. Total Fouls - South Ripley 14, Madison 19. Free Throws - South Ripley 17-25, Madison 12-17. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - South Ripley visits Jac-Cen-Del Thursday. Madison visits Franklin Co. Tuesday.