RUNNING AWAY: Madison’s Whitney Wynn sprints away from South Dearborn’s Shelbi Kurtz (above) after a steal and pumps her fist after hitting a 3-pointer (below) during Wednesday’s sectional opener at Rushville. The Lady Cubs had plenty to be happy about in the 77-44 win, the team’s seventh-straight in sectional play. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
RUNNING AWAY: Madison’s Whitney Wynn sprints away from South Dearborn’s Shelbi Kurtz (above) after a steal and pumps her fist after hitting a 3-pointer (below) during Wednesday’s sectional opener at Rushville. The Lady Cubs had plenty to be happy about in the 77-44 win, the team’s seventh-straight in sectional play. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
RUSHVILLE - Madison coach Willie Humes took one look at Rushville's venerable Memorial Gymnasium and knew that his team would have a good night.

"When we came up here to practice I told them, 'girls, you're going to like this gym. This is a good gym to shoot in,'" said Humes, one of the best scorers in NCAA history. "They proved me right."

Boy did they ever. Seven different Lady Cubs combined to hit 10 3-pointers and Madison opened defense of its sectional title with a 77-44 rout of South Dearborn in the opening round on Wednesday.

Delanie Jones, Alex Thurnall and Whitney Wynn all hit two trifectas each while Hannah Cain, Hannah Bickers, Cadie Povaleri and Katie Hartman added solo 3-pointers.

Overall the Cubs were 10-of-27 (37 percent) from long-range and 24-of-58 (41 percent) from the floor. Add to that 19-of-25 (76 percent) from the free-throw line and little went wrong for Madison.

"They've improved the lighting in here and it just has a nice feel to it," Humes said of the gym. "It's a close gym, it's got a cozy feeling. There's a nice sound of the ball bouncing off the floor. It's a good shooter's gym."

No. 14 Madison (17-4) served notice early on that it came ready to play. South Dearborn opened up in an aggressive zone designed to stop 6-foot-1 Olivia Crozier but Madison's shooters shredded the ploy almost instantly.

Povaleri was the first to connect, drilling a wide-open 3-pointer from the left side as Madison built an early 6-0 lead. Jones and Cain combined for three more treys and the Cubs sprinted out to a 20-9 lead after a quarter.

The outside shooting opened up the inside for Crozier, who was 5-of-8 from the floor and added 13 rebounds in the effort. Wynn, who exploded for 10 points in the second quarter, said that hitting those outside shots was crucial to the Cubs' success.

"We have to just focus on the shot and not rush anything because they're definitely going to be double-teaming Liv," Wynn said. "Everybody stepped up and hit some shots. We've been working hard."

South Dearborn (10-10) stayed around for much of the second quarter but two Wynn 3-pointers and a Macky Hecox free throw allowed the Cubs to close the half on a 7-0 run to take a 37-18 lead into halftime.

Crozier hit the first two baskets of the third quarter and Povaleri and Hecox added buckets as Madison pulled away. The Cubs led 64-27 after the third quarter and extended the lead to as much as 38 before the Knights scored the final five points of the game.

All 10 Lady Cubs in uniform made the scoring column before the third quarter had ended and Humes spent much of the game running groups of subs in an out of the lineup.

"We've talked and talked about coming out strong, not letting anything bother us and just play our game," Humes said. "We won this game and now we have six more to go."

"We weren't going to take anybody lightly," said Wynn, who tied Crozier for game-high honors with 14 points. "We want to play as a team and make sure we keep talking. We're taking it just one step at a time, one game at a time."

About the only thing that went wrong for Madison was when Wynn was hit hard in face on a drive to the basket late in the game. The junior bled profusely from the nose and did not return but there doesn't appear to be any damage.

"They don't think it's broken," said Wynn, who still had a bag of ice on her face nearly 30 minutes after the game. "It just hurts."

Thurnall added 10 points for Madison while Emily Holland scored nine. Cain had six points and six assists.

The Cubs had an unusual statistical oddity, getting assists on all 24 of their made field goals in the game. Cain, Povaleri and Jones had four assists each and eight different players record at least one assist.

"This was a complete team effort," Humes said. "Everybody played well."

Kooper Vertz scored 13 points and Ellen Barrett had 12 points and seven rebounds to lead South Dearborn, which shot 36 percent (16-of-45) from the floor and turned the ball over 27 times.

The victory was Madison's seventh straight in sectional play dating back to the 2010 season. The Lady Cubs are 9-2 in postseason play over the past three seasons.

Madison advances to the semifinals on Friday where it will take on Greensburg in the second game.

Greensburg (12-9) struggled mightily to beat two-win Franklin County 30-24 in Wednesday's first game. The Wildcats (2-19) led 13-10 at halftime before Greensburg finally took control of the game in the fourth quarter.

Jessica Banaschak led Greensburg with 10 points while Cara Maples scored 11 for Franklin County.

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CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 29

at Rushville

Opening Round

No. 14 MADISON 77, SOUTH DEARBORN 44



MADISON 20 17 27 13 - 77

SOUTH DEARBORN 9 9 9 17 - 44



MADISON (17-4) - (c)Crozier 14, Wynn 14, Thurnall 10, Holland 9, (g)Jones 6, (g)Cain 6, (f)Povaleri 5, Hartman 5, (f)Hecox 4, Bickers 4.

SOUTH DEARBORN (10-10) - (f)Vertz 13, (c)Barrett 12, Schimmel 8, (g)Wolfer 6, (f)Bressert 3, (g)Stevens 2, Kurtz 0.



3-Point Goals - Madison 10 (Jones 2, Thurnall 2, Wynn 2, Cain 1, Povaleri 1, Hartman 1, Bickers 1), South Dearborn 4 (Wolfer 2, Vertz 2). Rebounds - Madison 40 (Crozier 13), South Dearborn 33 (Wolfer 7, Barrett 7). Assists - Madison 24 (Cain 6), South Dearborn 14 (Wolfer 3). Turnovers - Madison 11, South Dearborn 27. Total Fouls - Madison 15, South Dearborn 18. Free Throws - Madison 19-25, South Dearborn 8-13. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Madison faces Greensburg in the Class 3A Sectional semifinals on Friday. South Dearborn's season ends.