Senior Morgan Cahall (below) and her Cub teammates present the Victory Bell to the Madison student section. The Southwestern boys won their third-straight Old Oaken Bucket while the Madison girls ran their Bell streak to eight-straight. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Senior Morgan Cahall (below) and her Cub teammates present the Victory Bell to the Madison student section. The Southwestern boys won their third-straight Old Oaken Bucket while the Madison girls ran their Bell streak to eight-straight. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Riding a five-game win streak heading into Wednesday night’s girls version of the Turkey Shootout, Southwestern had high hopes of putting an end to Madison’s seven-game win streak in the annual rivalry matchup. In the end though, the Lady Cubs’ speed and size proved to be too much and Madison never trailed en route to a convincing 65-40 win in the “Battle of the Victory Bell.”

Despite a sluggish start, Madison raced out to an early lead and never looked back. The Lady Cubs have won eight-straight in the series and picked up their 20th win in the shootout against Southwestern.

“It’s hard coming into this place and playing,” said Madison head coach Sonja Bowyer, a former Southwestern standout player. “I think both teams had some jitters in the beginning which is expected in this type of atmosphere but I think we settled in once we adjusted.”

Madison (4-2) battled foul trouble and periods of stagnation in the first half but regardless, the Lady Cubs raced out to a 7-0 lead on a personal 5-0 run by Jade Nutley and a bucket by Taylor Lynch before Southwestern’s Trinity McLain temporarily stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 7-3.

Ashton Goode added a bucket after Lundun Perry’s 3-ball to cut into the lead again at 12-5 but Lynch and Nutley again teamed up with a bucket apiece and Madison’s’ lead stood at 16-5 at the first stop.

Much of the same took place in the second quarter. Southwestern again did its best to cut into the lead but never got closer than 11 points after a pair of free throws each by Ellie Foley and Ashton Goode. Madison’s full-court pressure started taking a toll and speeded up the Rebels, who committed five turnovers in the frame and the Lady Cubs took advantage. Nutley scored six more points and Abby Ferguson added five points, giving Madison a 35-18 edge by halftime.

Southwestern (5-2) totaled 16 turnovers in the first half which were converted into 10 points by Madison. Adding to the frustration, the Lady Rebels still had chances to chip away at the free-throw line as fouls piled up for Madison but failed to convert. Southwestern hit just 7-of-17 from the foul stripe and finished the game just 13-of-26 at the line.

“I expected the first few minutes for us to have nerves and not play up to our potential,” Southwestern coach Devin Brierly said. “You know we’ve got an experienced lineup though. I was disappointed in our play but in the grand scheme of things we know this game doesn’t matter. We just need to work on things that we need to improve on. That’s free throws and taking care of the basketball.”

Madison cleaned its game up in the second half and asserted its dominance in the final two quarters. With Nutley continuing to use her size advantage in the post, the rest of the team chipped in and the lead blossomed to as much as 28 points.

Nutley scored six points in the third quarter while Perry added five points in the frame and Lynch added a bucket. The largest lead of the night — 61-33 — was reached in the fourth quarter as Paige Young scored six points and Harper Watson added five points. Southwestern closed out on a 7-3 run on five points by Ellie Foley and two points by Goode but the late spurt was too late and Madison walked away having closed out the game in much better fashion than it started.

“Us preparing this week really paid off,” Nutley said. “Once we got calmed down and got the jitters out we started to mesh better together. It looks better when that happens and when we let the game come to us and we don’t try to come to the game. It’s a lot easier.”

“We had to adjust to how the game was being called,” Bowyer added of the improved second half. “We had to change our entire game plan at halftime and make those adjustments. We adjusted well and I was really pleased with how we came out in the second half. We were much better.”

The Rebels did their best to contain Nutley throughout the game and at one point had three defenders on her in the second half but the junior used her 6-foot-1 frame to her advantage in her 28 minutes on the floor.

Nutley dominated and gave her best performance so far this season, posting a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds, shooting 9-of-14 from the field while also recording two blocks. She was joined in double figures by Perry with 14 points on 50 percent shooting from the field to go with four rebounds.

“When she gets her mind to it it’s awesome to watch her,” Bowyer said of Nutley. “She can just do some amazing things but it also takes her teammates to come in and play well and get her the ball. That kind of defensive pressure can happen at anytime and tonight we were ready for it and so was Jade.”

Southwestern put two players in double figures with Foley leading the team at 12 points and six rebounds and Bella Marcum had 10 points and six rebounds. The Lady Rebels shot just 30 percent from the field on the night and turnovers mounted to 23 by the end of the game.

“We’re a resilient group but we didn’t look like us tonight and it was a rough night,” Brierly said. “My kids fight and they work hard but we are disappointed and we have to come back next week and get better.”

Madison opens Hoosier Hills Conference play Wednesday at Floyd Central and hosts 4A No. 9 Jeffersonville on Friday in another HHC clash.

Southwestern (5-2) visits Shawe on Friday in an Ohio River Valley Conference matchup and continues ORVC play the following Tuesday at Milan.



Girls Victory Bell Game

at Hanover


MADISON 16 19 15 14 — 64

S’WESTERN 5 13 10 12 — 40

MADISON (4-2) — Nutley 22, Perry 14, Young 8, Lynch 6, Watson 5, Ferguson 5, Jay 3, Ferris 1, Dyer 0, Eades 0, Cahall 0.

SOUTHWESTERN (5-2) — Foley 12, Marcum 10, Goode 9, McLain 7, Brooks 2, Fulton 0, Wilberding 0, Bruce 0.

3-Point Goals — Madison 3 (Nutley 1, Jay 1, Perry 1), Southwestern 1 (McLain 1). Rebounds — Madison 39 (Nutley 16), Southwestern 32 (Foley 6, Marcum 6). Assists — Madison 16 (Lynch 6), Southwestern 7 (Marcum 3, McLain 2). Turnovers — Madison 16, Southwestern 23. Total Fouls — Madison 25, Southwestern 17. Free Throws — Madison 13-22, Southwestern 13-26. Fouled Out — Southwestern: Marcum.