BIG SHOT: Madison’s Nick Macon is defended by Seymour’s Chase Salmon (15) and Zak Lucas (23) during Friday’s game at Madison. Macon scored a team-high 24 points in the Cubs’ 68-56 Hoosier Hills Conference win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
BIG SHOT: Madison’s Nick Macon is defended by Seymour’s Chase Salmon (15) and Zak Lucas (23) during Friday’s game at Madison. Macon scored a team-high 24 points in the Cubs’ 68-56 Hoosier Hills Conference win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison overcame a sluggish start to knock off Seymour 68-56 in boys basketball Friday at home.

The Cubs trailed one-win Seymour 8-2 early and didn't fully seize control of the game until a 10-0 run in the third quarter. Madison then pulled away at the free-throw line to break its two-game losing streak and pull back to .500 on the season.

"I think not being in school today hurt us. This was like a Saturday for us," Madison coach Pat King said. "The combination of that and playing a one-win team, I think you run the risk of them saying, 'just give us time and we'll take care of it.' I think that was the case in the first quarter but I thought we did a good job of kicking it into gear in the second."

Madison (8-8, 2-4 Hoosier Hills) was hit by the injury bug once again when Carson Wattenbarger, the team's leading scorer over the month, took a hard tumble in the first quarter and injured both his wrist and ankle. He joined leading scorer Landon Perry (knee) on the bench.

Without the two juniors, Madison's other scorers stepped up. Sophomore Nick Macon had 24 points while senior Matt Woolard had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Ryan Thurston knocked down three 3-pointers en route to a 13-point night.

"I thought Nick played a heck of a floor game. He's becoming a real leader and that's what your point guard has to do, regardless of how old they are," King said. "Matt had a double-double and he also led us in assists. That's an impressive game."

Seymour (1-15, 0-7 HHC) played loose in the game's opening minutes, a far cry from Madison's slow start. The Owls got four quick points from junior Landon Booth and they led 5-0 three minutes into the game.

Thurston broke the scoring drought with a pair of free throws but Booth answered with a 3-pointer to push the Seymour lead to 8-2.

It was just the start of a big game for the 5-foot-10 Booth, who scored 10 of the Owls' 11 points in the first quarter and hit five 3-pointers for a game-high 26 points overall.

"Booth just couldn't miss tonight," King said. "He had five 3-pointers and we even had Ryan Thurston, our best defender, on him. He had a great game."

Booth kept Seymour in the game but he couldn't beat Madison by himself. Macon and Thurston each hit 3-pointers to pull the Cubs even and after Booth hit his second trey of the quarter, Macon closed the opening frame with a long-distance shot to tie the game at 11-11.

Macon and Woolard opened the second with back-to-back baskets and the Cubs never trailed again, although it would take them a full quarter to take control of the game.

With Wattenbarger off the floor and starter Willie Huffman in foul trouble, Madison reserves Scott King and Tanner Sauley alternated the rest of the game in the lineup. The two proved to be invaluable for the suddenly shallow Cub bench.

"I thought Scott and Tanner came in and gave us some very big minutes, King said. "Both played well."

Thurston closed the second quarter with a 3-pointer to give Madison a five-point lead (29-24) at the half. It was still just a two-point game early in the third before the Cubs caught fire.

Woolard started Madison's third-quarter run with a free throw and Macon, Thurston and Woolard followed with three-straight scores off Seymour turnovers. Thurston capped the 10-0 run with a 3-pointer to put the Cubs ahead 41-29.

Another big run, this one of 11 straight points, in the fourth quarter put the game away. Sauley started that run with a 3-pointer and the Cubs eventually held their biggest lead of the night at 18 points, 58-40.

Seymour sent Madison to the free-throw line 17 times in the final five minutes of the game and the Cubs responded by knocking down 12 to put the game away. Macon was 7-of-11 down the stretch and 8-of-13 from the line overall.

"Nick wasn't happy about the free throws. He takes quite a bit of pride in those," King said. "We have a few guys that are over 70 percent at the line and they have a little competition going. Nick's already back on the floor practicing."

Zak Lucas added 11 points for Seymour on three 3-pointers, getting eight of those points in the fourth quarter.

The win pushes Madison back to the .500 mark with four games left in the regular season. King is hopeful that his squad can close the season on a tear and take momentum into the sectional tournament.

"Three out of four is our goal and we think we can do it," King said. "We have Rock Creek on Thursday but we also have South Ripley and Switzerland County and both of those teams are 11-4. You've got to think that on paper they may be favored. So we have our work cut out for us but we're pretty confident."



at Madison


SEYMOUR 11 13 11 21 - 56

MADISON 11 18 16 23 - 68

SEYMOUR (1-15, 0-7 HHC) - (g)Booth 26, (g)Lucas 11, (f)Schlatterer 9, (c)Salmon 5, (f)Moore 3, Putter 2, Klakamp 0, Stuart 0, Campbell 0.

MADISON (8-8, 2-4 HHC) - (g)Macon 24, (c)Woolard 14, (f)Thurston 13, King 8, Sauley 5, Vaughn 2, Manaugh 2, (g)Huffman 0, (f)Wattenbarger 0, Tucker 0.

3-Point Goals - Seymour 10 (Booth 5, Lucas 3, Moore 1, Schlatterer 1), Madison 6 (Thurston 3, Macon 2, Sauley 1). Total Fouls - Seymour 21, Madison 15. Free Throws - Seymour 11-16, Madison 18-30. Fouled Out - Seymour: Salmon. Technical Fouls - Seymour: Bench. Next Game - Seymour hosts Salem today. Madison visits Rock Creek Thursday.