ROUGH DAY: Madison senior Hannah Bickers (above, 12) gives a sardonic smile while head coach Willie Humes, far left, and assistant coaches Marcus Sullivan (second from right) and Dwight Inskeep (far right) react after a close call during Saturday’s game at Austin. Cub junior Macky Hecox (below, with ball) powers her way to the basket through the double-team of Austin’s Brenna Oeffinger (45) and Jessie Davidson. Madison shot just 25 percent and lost 49-35 in the top 10 matchup. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
ROUGH DAY: Madison senior Hannah Bickers (above, 12) gives a sardonic smile while head coach Willie Humes, far left, and assistant coaches Marcus Sullivan (second from right) and Dwight Inskeep (far right) react after a close call during Saturday’s game at Austin. Cub junior Macky Hecox (below, with ball) powers her way to the basket through the double-team of Austin’s Brenna Oeffinger (45) and Jessie Davidson. Madison shot just 25 percent and lost 49-35 in the top 10 matchup. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
AUSTIN - Madison suffered through one of its worst shooting days in years and it cost the Lady Cubs a 49-35 basketball setback at Class 2A No. 9 Austin Saturday in a matchup of top 10 teams.

The Cubs missed all 23 of their 3-point attempts and were just 15-for-60 (25 percent) from the floor overall. That cold shooting extended to shots that weren't contested with Madison going 5-for-15 from the free-throw line.

The result was a predictable loss for the Class 3A No. 5 Cubs, who were trying to become just the third team in school history to start a season 12-1.

"When you look at the way we shot the ball it was obvious that we weren't focused and ready to play," Madison coach Willie Humes said. "That won't happen again. I hope they come to practice on Monday ready to work because we will not shoot like that again."

The poor-shooting bug hit nearly every player on the roster. Only 6-foot-1 sophomore center Olivia Crozier shot better than 50 percent from the floor but even Crozier struggled from the line, going just 3-for-9.

The horrific shooting doomed any chance Madison had at a win despite an overall strong performance. The Cubs forced Austin into 18 turnovers while committing only seven themselves and held the Eagles to 43 percent (18-for-42) from the floor, including 2-of-9 from long range.

But it was Austin's zone defense that made the difference in the game. With the Eagles collapsing on Crozier and fellow post Macky Hecox, the outside was wide open for the taking.

Only the Cubs couldn't buy a shot.

Five different players took 23 attempts from 3-point range and every one of them missed. That allowed Austin to continue to focus its defensive attention on Madison's inside game.

"We're going to see a lot of zones and we have to have shooters hitting shots," Humes said. "The frustrating thing is that we're a better shooting team than that. We've got some girls that can really knock it down."

Despite the ice-cold shooting Madison stayed in the game until the closing minutes.

The Cubs (11-2) led only once, at 2-0, but trailed only 9-7 after the first quarter and 23-18 at halftime. Austin jumped out to a 29-20 lead midway through the third quarter before Madison answered with a 9-3 run to close the gap to three (32-29) by the end of the frame.

Madison appeared to finally get over the hump early in the fourth. After the Eagles' Holli Reynolds scored on a lay-up, Madison got back-to-back baskets by Crozier to pull within one (34-33).

Crozier, who battled foul trouble in the first half, got the ball again on a third-straight trip down the floor and was fouled and went to the line with a chance to finally put Madison ahead with 5:41 left in the game.

But instead Crozier missed both shots and the Cubs seemed to unravel after that. Oeffinger got a basket and Crozier hit a free throw, but the Eagles closed the game on a 15-2 run to seal the win.

Along the way, Madison picked up a technical foul and the Cubs seemed powerless to stop Austin as the Eagles pulled away by hitting 7-of-11 from the foul stripe down the stretch.

Nearly everybody wearing Madison red and white was fuming at the officials after the game. However, Humes said the men in stripes were not the reason for the Cubs' downfall.

"There were some questionable calls but when you shoot 25 percent you're not going to beat anybody," Humes said. "We just weren't focused. I thought that we were. We had a pretty good practice but it was obvious that we weren't. We will be from now on."

Crozier led Madison with 11 points and 15 rebounds and was the only Cub in double figures. Hecox scored seven points while Hannah Cain had six points and three assists. Cadie Povaleri had four steals.

Jessie Davidson scored a game-high 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting to lead Austin, which improved to 11-3 on the season. The 5-foot-7 senior guard also had 12 rebounds and three assists but turned the ball over eight times.

Madison returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Silver Creek (11-4).

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SATURADAY'S GIRLS GAME

at Austin

2A No. 9 AUSTIN 49, 3A No. 5 MADISON 35



MADISON 7 11 11 6 - 35

AUSTIN 9 14 9 17 - 49



MADISON (11-2) - (c)Crozier 11, (f)Hecox 7, (g)Cain 6, Jones 4, Wynn 3, (f)Povaleri 2, Bickers 2, (g)Thurnall 0, Holland 0, Hartman 0.

AUSTIN (11-3) - (g)Davidson 20, (g)Smith 11, (f)Riley 6, Reynolds 5, Embrey 3, (g)Mace 2, (f)Oeffinger 2, Jeffries 0, Turner 0.



3-Point Goals - Madison 0, Austin 2 (Reynolds 1, Embrey 1). Rebounds - Madison 34 (Crozier 15), Austin 46 (Davidson 12). Turnovers - Madison 7, Austin 18. Total Fouls - Madison 24, Austin 13. Free Throws - Madison 5-15, Austin 11-19. Fouled Out - Madison: Povaleri. Technical Fouls - Madison: Povaleri. Next Game - Madison hosts Silver Creek Tuesday. Austin hosts North Harrison Wednesday.