UP AND OVER: Madison’s Tyler Manaugh shoots over Silver Creek’s Christian Reed during Friday’s game in Sellersburg. Manaugh scored just  six points while playing in foul trouble and the Cubs lost 61-54. This and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
UP AND OVER: Madison’s Tyler Manaugh shoots over Silver Creek’s Christian Reed during Friday’s game in Sellersburg. Manaugh scored just six points while playing in foul trouble and the Cubs lost 61-54. This and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
SELLERSBURG - Madison coach Pat King said before Friday's game that he had a bad feeling about the Cubs' matchup at Silver Creek. As it turned out, the veteran coach had every reason to be worried.

Silver Creek used an overwhelming edge at the free-throw line to take advantage of the cold-shooting Cubs and beat Class 3A No. 10 Madison 61-54 at home on Friday.

The home-standing Dragons were 24-for-33 from the line compared to just 11-of-17 by Madison. Add in the fact that the Cubs shot 24 percent (7-of-29) from the floor in the second half and the result was predictable.

"We had our hands full tonight. I'm going to be as diplomatic as I can and say that things didn't go very well for us," King said. "We were in foul trouble immediately. They shot twice as many free throws than we did. They shot 20 more than Greensburg did last week. Our bigs never got into the game; they were immediately in foul trouble against a team that is perimeter-oriented. You can read between the lines on that."

It has been a busy week for Madison ever since the Cubs took down top-ranked and undefeated Greensburg last Friday. Junior guard Nick Macon was named the IBCA and Indiana Sports Talk player of the week and the team itself was awarded Hoosier Authority.com team of the week honors.

King said it did not feel like his team was overconfident in any way. But the massive foul advantage took the Cubs out of their up-tempo style and played right into half-court-minded Silver Creek's hands.

Madison (8-3) led only once, at 6-5 on a Kyle Tucker free throw just over two minutes into the game. The Cubs spent the rest of the game trying to track down the Dragons.

That task was made even more difficult by Madison's early foul trouble. Carson Wattenbarger committed two fouls early and sub Alex Weaver got two nearly as quickly. Both players ended up with three fouls by halftime and center Tyler Manaugh had two over the same stretch.

"It's just so frustrating because when we play in the Hoosier Hills, when we play New Albany, when we play Jeff or BNL, they just beat the heck out of us," King said. "We learn survival skills just to stay on the floor. Then we come to these smaller conferences on their home court and they don't let you play that way. It's just a different world."

With all three of Madison's post players either on the bench or forced to change their games, the Cubs' high-scoring guard tandem of Landon Perry and Nick Macon was forced to operate without protection. Silver Creek's man-to-man defense made sure to not leave either player with much room to operate and the Dragons ended up with a dominating 46-24 rebounding edge.

The Cubs still shot 48 percent from the floor in the second half and trailed only 33-32 at the half thanks to a Manaugh lay-up at the buzzer. But the second half was a different story.

Madison went ice-cold from the floor in the third quarter, hitting only 2-of-15 to score five points. Luckily for the Cubs, Creek went nearly as cold and managed only seven points itself in the quarter but it was enough to push the Dragon lead to 41-37.

"The third quarter was the difference in the game," King said. "We just couldn't buy a basket. We hold them to seven and only score five points."

Madison stayed within striking distance for much of the third quarter and nearly came all the way back. The Cubs picked up the defensive intensity and forced several turnovers in a row and got a huge 3-pointer from Macon to cut the lead to 53-51 with 1:44 to play.

The Cubs seemingly got the break they needed on the next possession but it wasn't meant to be. Manaugh picked up a steal, forwarded the ball to Macon who then hit a streaking Perry down the middle of the floor with a football pass. Perry was about to coast in for an easy lay-up to tie the game when he was pushed to the ground from behind by the Creek defender.

After a short meeting, the officials decided not to issue an intentional foul but rather sent Perry to the line for a 1-and-1 bonus situation. Perry missed the first free throw, Creek got the rebound and the Dragons' Nick Tinsley hit two free throws on the other end to push the margin back to four.

Madison cut the lead to three on two more occasions - the last on a Perry short jumper with 24 seconds left - but the Dragons hit four free throws in the final 18 seconds to seal the win.

The discrepancy in free throw attempts wouldn't have been as bad if Madison had simply hit a few more down the stretch. The Cubs were also 5-of-19 on 3-point attempts, a week after hitting 15-of-26 in the win over Greensburg.

"We struggled at the line. Landon had an off-night and was 3-of-7 from the line and that's from an 80-percent shooter," King said. "We were 5-of-19 on 3-pointers. Last week we won with threes, tonight we couldn't hit them. It was just one of those nights. It wasn't meant to be."

Despite his struggles, Perry still led the Cubs with 16 points. He also had five rebounds and four assists. Macon also struggled with his shot but still finished with an impressive line of 14 points, five rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Tucker finished with 13 points, including 10 in the first quarter.

Silver Creek's 6-foot-6 sophomore center, Christian Reed, had a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds, but was held to just four points in the second half. Tinsley finished with 11 points and Zach Davidson scored 10.

Madison returns home tonight when it hosts another potential sectional opponent in North Harrison for the Cubs' belated homecoming. The festivities were postponed last week because of the weather.

"This team is ready to get back at it. They want to play North Harrison tonight," King said. "And that's a good thing. They're already talking about sectionals and if they get to play Creek on a neutral floor. They're not letting this loss affect them."



at Sellersburg



MADISON 15 17 5 17 - 54

SILVER CREEK 19 14 8 20 - 61

MADISON (8-3) - (g)Perry 16, (g)Macon 14, (f)Tucker 13, (c)Manaugh 6, (f)Wattenbarger 3, Huffman 2, Weaver 0, Sauley 0.

SILVER CREEK (8-4) - (c)Reed 17, (g)Tinsley 11, (f)Davidson 10, Steele 8, (f)Bauer 8, Howell 3, (g)Durham 2, Garr 2.

3-Point Goals - Madison 5 (Perry 3, Macon 2), Silver Creek 3 (Tinsley 1, Howell 1, Bauer 1). Rebounds - Madison 24 (Perry 5, Macon 5), Silver Creek 46 (Reed 14). Assists - Madison 13 (Macon 6), Silver Creek 7 (Durham 3). Turnovers - Madison 9, Silver Creek 15. Total Fouls - Madison 26, Silver Creek 19. Free Throws - Madison 11-17, Silver Creek 24-33. Fouled Out - Madison: Wattenbarger. Silver Creek: Steele. Next Game - Madison hosts North Harrison tonight. Silver Creek visits Salem Feb. 7.