GOOD TIMES: Madison’s (from left) Delanie Jones, Olivia Crozier, Whitney Wynn and Macky Hecox cheer on their teammates late in the Cubs’ 59-38 win over Seymour. The win was the team’s eighth-straight, one shy of the school record for best start to a season. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
GOOD TIMES: Madison’s (from left) Delanie Jones, Olivia Crozier, Whitney Wynn and Macky Hecox cheer on their teammates late in the Cubs’ 59-38 win over Seymour. The win was the team’s eighth-straight, one shy of the school record for best start to a season. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison shot 62 percent from the floor in the second half and limited Seymour to just five field goals over the final 16 minutes to roll to its eighth-straight girls basketball win, 59-38 Saturday at home.

The Lady Cubs, unbeaten and ranked eighth in Class 3A, led by only four points (27-23) at halftime. But Madison cranked up its defense in the third quarter and throttled the Owls into submission to stand 3-0 in Hoosier Hills Conference play.

"We talked at halftime about playing better defense in the second half and we did that," Madison coach Willie Humes said. "I think our defense really rattled them. And that's what we want to do."

Madison started out hot and led 19-13 after the first quarter. But Seymour would not go away and thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Morgan Ritz and Brianna Gillaspy, the Owls were still within striking distance at halftime.

Part of the reason for Seymour's success was its hot shooting. The Owls were 50 percent (9-of-18) from the floor over the first two quarters, just slightly under Madison's 52.4 percent (11-of-21).

But while the Cubs actually got hotter from the floor in the second half, Seymour (4-4, 1-2 HHC) cooled off considerably. Much of the credit for the Owls' poor shooting can be attributed to the Madison defense, which harassed the Seymour ball-handlers and forced the Owls into off-balance shots.

"We really wanted to get up on them and take them out of their comfort zone," Humes said. "We're starting to learn that we can score out of our defense."

While Seymour struggled to a 5-for-25 performance in the second half Madison was 13-for-21, many of the makes on layups in transition.

The Cubs' pressure defense forced six turnovers in as many possessions at one point in the third quarter and funneled the Owls into the paint where Madison's distinct size advantage took over.

Although Madison extended its lead to only 39-30 by the end of the third quarter, the Cubs were just getting warmed up. With Seymour forced to abandon its deliberate game plan in an effort to catch up, the Cubs took advantage by forcing even more turnovers.

Madison outscored the Owls 20-8 in the fourth quarter and the final 21-point margin was the largest of the game.

The Cubs ended up shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and had an impressive 18 assists on their 24 made field goals. Seven different players scored in the game led by sophomore post Olivia Crozier who had 14 points to go along with seven rebounds.

Point guard Hannah Cain was also impressive, scoring 11 points on just six shots. The senior was 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-5 on 3-point shots to go with three assists and three steals.

Overall, Madison was 5-of-10 from the 3-point line with Alex Thurnall and Hannah Bickers also knocking down treys.

"Teams are going to key on Olivia inside and that will give our shooters plenty of chances outside," Humes said. "Hannah (Cain) had a real good game and Alex and Hannah Bickers also had 3-pointers. We're going to need that."

Gillaspy led Seymour with 11 points.

The victory allowed Madison to move ahead of Seymour in the all-time series between the two schools. The Lady Cubs are now 15-14 against Seymour after breaking a six-game losing streak to the Owls last year.

More importantly it was Madison's eighth-straight win to start the season, the second-best start in the history of the program. The 1992-93 team started the year 9-0 en route to a 15-8 season and the sectional championship.

The Lady Cubs can tie the school record with a win at Jennings County (4-4, 1-2 HHC) on Thursday night. Madison then hosts Class 4A No. 4 Bedford North Lawrence (6-0, 1-0 HHC) on Saturday in the Cubs' biggest game of the season to date.

While Humes has his eye on the matchup with BNL, he also wants to win at Jennings County to tie the record.

"I want it for the girls. They've worked hard and they deserve a record like that," Humes said. "If we get that win then these girls can always say that they were a part of a school record. That's a big deal."

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SATURDAY'S GIRLS GAME

at Madison

3A No. 8 MADISON 59, SEYMOUR 38



SEYMOUR 13 10 7 8 - 38

MADISON 19 8 12 20 - 59



SEYMOUR (4-4, 1-2 HHC) - (g)Gillaspy 11, (f)Gossett 6, Ritz 6, (c)Carr 6, (f)Personett 4, Lubker 3, (g)DeHaven 2, Clark 0, Thompson 0.

MADISON (8-0, 3-0 HHC) - (c)Crozier 14, (g)Cain 11, (f)Hecox 10, Wynn 9, (g)Thurnall 6, Bickers 5, Holland 4, (f)Povaleri 0, Hartman 0.



3-Point Goals - Seymour 4 (Gillaspy 2, Ritz 1, Lubker 1), Madison 5 (Cain 3, Thurnall 1, Bickers 1). Rebounds - Seymour 23 (Carr 9), Madison 28 (Crozier 7). Assists - Seymour 8 (Gillaspy 3), Madison 18 (Povaleri 4, Bickers 4). Turnovers - Seymour 18, Madison 19. Total Fouls - Seymour 10, Madison 10. Free Throws - Seymour 6-10, Madison 6-8. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Seymour hosts Columbus North Tuesday. Madison visits Jennings Co. Thursday.