DOWN TO THE WIRE: Madison players (above, from left) Raven Lee, Kaitlin Rice, Alex Thurnall, Delany Liter and Macky Hecox watch the action closely during the final moments of Tuesday’s win at Floyd Central. Junior Olivia Crozier (below) had 17 points, 13 rebounds, nine blocks and five steals in the Cubs’ 62-57 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
DOWN TO THE WIRE: Madison players (above, from left) Raven Lee, Kaitlin Rice, Alex Thurnall, Delany Liter and Macky Hecox watch the action closely during the final moments of Tuesday’s win at Floyd Central. Junior Olivia Crozier (below) had 17 points, 13 rebounds, nine blocks and five steals in the Cubs’ 62-57 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
GALENA - Madison followed up arguably its worst half of basketball with one of its best and the result was a 62-57 comeback win at Floyd Central Tuesday in girls basketball.

The Lady Cubs, ranked eighth in the most recent Class 3A poll, did little right over the first two quarters. They committed 12 turnovers and allowed Floyd Central to score seemingly at will as the Highlanders built a 41-34 halftime lead.

But a few halftime adjustments and some choice words from coach Willie Humes seem to do the trick. The Cubs held Floyd to just 16 points in the second half and slashed their turnovers by a third to post their fourth-straight win in the series.

"We had 12 turnovers at half and that's unacceptable," Humes said. "At halftime we had a little talk and I think I straightened it out. We just weren't executing, we were just going through the motions. In the second half, we played a lot better ball."

Junior center Olivia Crozier fell one block shy of a triple-double with an impressive line of 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 13 rebounds, nine blocks and five steals. Senior forward Whitney Wynn was nearly as impressive with 15 points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Despite big nights from its stars, Madison (5-0, 1-0 Hoosier Hills) still trailed for much of the game, including a 10-point deficit midway through the third quarter,

Trailing 55-49 with 6:15 to play, the Lady Cubs took control and closed the game on a 13-2 run to pick up the win. Wynn's breakaway layup after a Floyd turnover tied the game 55-55 with 4:27 left . The Highlanders' Brianna Roth scored a basket, but Madison sophomore Katie Hartman drained a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Cubs a 58-57 lead with 2:31 left that Madison never relinquished.

Floyd Central (1-3, 0-2 HHC) did not score again. Noticeably tired from banging with the Cubs for four quarters, the Highlanders either turned the ball over or missed shots in each of their last five possessions. On the other hand, Madison seemed energized and got free throws from Hartman and Delanie Jones down the stretch to seal the win.

The key to the comeback for Madison was to simply play its game. Not only were the Cubs turning the ball over on nearly half of their possessions, but they were also not closing on shooters and allowing wide-open drives to the basket on defense.

It was the defense that Madison was determined to fix at halftime and fix it they did.

"We definitely sat in the lockerroom and said, 'OK, this is not how we play defense,'" said Crozier. "We have to buckle down and play defense the way we know. We were just letting them get lay-ups left and right, we were not covering weakside, we weren't hustling back ... We were down seven and to get that back against a team like this is not a piece of cake. You've got to work. It took us two quarters to do it but we finally pulled it out."

Crozier played a big role in the comeback with her defense. The 6-foot-2 junior had only two blocks in the first half but made her presence known in the second, swatting or challenging nearly every Floyd shot in the paint.

Crozier said she doesn't concern herself with the blocks or the points, but just concentrates on rebounds. And she was determined to make up for a two-point effort against Southwestern last week.

"I just wanted to play better than I did in the Turkey Shootout," Crozier said. "I know that the best way I can help my team is to get rebounds and if I do that, the points will come ... On blocks, most of the time they're just looking at their man and not paying attention to me. I usually can slide over and block them from behind without them realizing that I was even there."

While Crozier and Wynn each had big games, the difference in the game may have been Madison's bench. Junior Raven Lee sparked the defense with several big steals in the fourth quarter and Hartman's 3-pointer proved to be the game-winner. Sophomore Delany Liter also hit a trey at the end of the third quarter to cut the Floyd lead to four.

"Our bench played terrific tonight. Raven came in and gave us a boost and Katie hit a big shot," Humes said. "I can't say enough about the way the bench played."

Floyd Central ended up shooting 45 percent (25-for-55) for the game, but the Highlanders hit only seven field goals in the second half and just two in the fourth quarter. Madison was 22-for-55 (40 percent) overall but also dominated the free-throw line, hitting 13-of-19 to Floyd's 3-of-4.

Senior Riley Kaiser led Floyd Central with 21 points but was held to just six in the second half. She also had eight rebounds.

Madison returns home on Friday to face another Hoosier Hills opponent in Jeffersonville. After four wins against lesser opponents, the Lady Cubs feel like they are ready to take on the next portion of their schedule, a slate of five tough HHC foes over the next three weeks.

"The very first game that is a challenge for us ends up being hard. Because we go from being able to do whatever we want, not playing as a team and winning by 30," Crozier said. "Now we had to play as a team to win by four. We had to pull it together. I'm definitely glad we ended up winning this first game and it's a good thing it's a conference game. Everything factored in well."

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TUESDAY'S GIRLS GAME

at Galena

CLASS 3A No. 8 MADISON 62,

FLOYD CENTRAL 57



MADISON 16 18 13 15 - 62

FLOYD CENTRAL 19 22 10 6 - 57



MADISON (5-0, 1-0 HHC) - (c)Crozier 17, (f)Wynn 15, Hartman 8, (g)Jones 7, (g)Thurnall 6, (f)Hecox 6, Liter 3, Lee 0, Falconberry 0.

FLOYD CENTRAL (1-3, 0-2 HHC) - (f)R. Kaiser 21, Roth 10, (f)M. Kaiser 9, (c)Engle 9, Rost 5, (g)Hinton 3, (g)Price 0, Taylor 0.



3-Point Goals - Madison 5 (Thurnall 2, Hartman 1, Wynn 1, Liter 1), Floyd Central 4 (M. Kaiser 1, Rost 1, Hinton 1, R. Kaiser 1). Rebounds - Madison 33 (Crozier 13), Floyd Central 37 (M. Kaiser 9). Assists - Madison 16 (Wynn 5), Floyd Central 13 (M. Kaiser 4, Hinton 3). Turnovers - Madison 18, Floyd Central 21. Total Fouls - Madison 12, Floyd Central 15. Free Throws - Madison 13-19, Floyd Central 3-4. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Madison hosts Jeffersonville Friday. Floyd Central hosts Jeffersonville Thursday.