PUMPED UP: Madison’s Hannah Cain (right) gives Whitney Wynn (20) a pat on the back after Wynn scored during a 16-0 Cub run Tuesday night against Floyd Central that turned a 19-9 deficit into a 25-19 lead. The duo scored 14 points in the rally. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
PUMPED UP: Madison’s Hannah Cain (right) gives Whitney Wynn (20) a pat on the back after Wynn scored during a 16-0 Cub run Tuesday night against Floyd Central that turned a 19-9 deficit into a 25-19 lead. The duo scored 14 points in the rally. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
After spotting Floyd Central an 8-0 lead, Class 3A No. 9 Madison went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to eventually take control of the game and beat the Highlanders 64-57 on Tuesday night at Salm Gym.

"I never expected that," Madison girls basketball coach Willie Humes said. "I figured both teams would come out and hit and couple of shots and we'd go back and forth. I didn't expect to be down 8-0 - I don't think anybody expected us to be down 8-0."

The nuts and bolts reason for Madison's slow start was early missed shots combined with poor defense, but there were other factors that possibly figured in the unbeaten Cubs emotionally flat outing.

"This one started out kind of rough. We weren't hitting shots and then we weren't getting back on defense so that contributed to the slow start," Humes said.

However, Humes could not deny that the tragic shooting death of a female Madison student earlier in the day left some of his players emotionally spent entering the game. Combine that with limited playing time for injured junior point guard Delanie Jones and the Cubs were ripe for a Floyd picking.

"For some of the girls I know (the death) was a factor because some of the girls were crying and pretty upset," Humes said.

"And not everybody knows this yet, but were losing Jonesy for three weeks, too," Humes added. "She's going to have a cast on her arm. She pulled a ligament in her (right) arm and the doctor said if she keeps a cast on it for three weeks it will probably kind of heal itself so we need to get her healthy."

Jones started the game but saw just over 14 minutes of action with zero points, only one assist and two turnovers.

"She's got a lot of energy," Humes said of Jones, adding that the team brought up freshman Katie Hartman from the jayvee to add depth at the guard position. "Delanie's a little waterbug, so her injury takes a lot of energy from us."

As a result, the 3-2 Highlanders - who already own impressive wins over Scottsburg and Seymour - took it to the Cubs from the outset for an 8-0 start and a game-high 12-point lead at 16-4 with 1:45 left in the opening quarter before the Cubs finally turned the game around.

"I felt coming out we were kind of flat, but then we had a little run - we got some more little runs and got ahead of them," Humes said.

"I felt better when we got ahead," he laughed.

Madison "got ahead" on the strength of a 16-0 run that began when senior guard Hannah Cain answered a Madison Kaiser 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the first quarter with a 3-bomb of her own off an assist by Alex Thurnall on an inbounds play with nine seconds before the quarter break.

Madison outscored the Highlanders 7-0 over the first 72 seconds of the second quarter as Cain knocked down her second 3-pointer - this time on an inbounds assist by Hannah Bickers - to go with a pair of baskets by super sixth-man Whitney Wynn.

But the Cubs weren't done yet.

Cain scored on a drive to the basket and then hit junior center Olivia Crozier on a cut into the lane for a layup and Madison was on top 23-19 en route to a 25-19 lead on a pair of Wynn free throws before Floyd's Niki Bruno finally scored a layup to break the vicious run.

"We needed that run," Humes said. "Once we get some separation we can play pretty good, but we had to get that separation which took a little bit to get. At first they did pretty good on us."

Floyd put up a good fight the rest of the half - and game for that matter - but the Cubs answered the Highlanders the rest of the way and never again surrendered the lead.

Floyd Central cut Madison's lead to one twice in the final 2:46 of the second quarter but the Cubs answered with a big contribution off the bench by 6-foot-3 sophomore center Emily Holland. Holland scored eight points - all on lobs over the Floyd defense or putbacks - over a 123 second span in the final three minutes of the first half to cancel out 3-pointers by Floyd's Kaiser and Shelby Rost.

"She played a great game. I thought she just did great," Humes said of his big sophomore. "With Holland we've just got to throw it up there - that's all you've got to do. I should have got her back in the game in the second half - she had a great first half - but you get intense on the game and you want to stay with what's working at the time."

Holland scored all eight of her points in the second quarter to go with eight by Wynn and a big 11-point half by Cain, whom Humes praised for her clutch shooting and senior leadership. Cain ended the night with a game-high 21 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists. The only blemish was her six turnovers.

"Over the summer we lost (Kelsie) Block as a leader and we told (Cain) she had to be the leader and she's stepped up," Humes said. "She's stepped up and I think she's done a great job. Her shot selection is pretty good but we've still go to work with her some on her passes. She threw a couple of bad passes tonight and we had too many turnovers.

"But she played the whole game. I didn't take her out at all so that tells you something," Humes added of Cain. "You want to keep your seniors in there - your leaders."

After leading 35-31 at halftime, Madison eased out to an eight-point cushion in the third quarter, weathered one last comeback by the Highlanders midway through the period and then pulled away in the final quarter to lead by 10 (62-52) before settling on the 64-57 final margin.

Madison outshot the Highlanders 44 percent (22-of-50) to 36.7 percent (22-of-60) and battled to a 36-36 standoff on the boards. With Jones seeing limited playing time and even then hindered by the injury, Madison made 21 turnovers to Floyd's 19. However, the Highlanders were whistled for 18 fouls to Madison's 13 so the Cubs went to the foul line 23 times and made 18 to Floyd's nine hits on 14 attempts.

"They were physical - they were banging in there," Humes said of Floyd. "We had to rip the ball out of there a couple of times. That's good for us because we're going to get banged on from here on out - we're going to get banged on a lot. We're starting to play 4A schools now so it's going to get tougher."

The win lifts the Cubs to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the Hoosier Hills Conference while dropping Floyd to 3-2 and 1-1 in the HHC. The 5-0 start is Madison's best since 1997 when the Cubs also won their first five games.

"It's huge to get that first conference win," Humes noted. "You always want to get that first win in the conference and to get that first one now is a really good feeling."

The game was Madison's first since the latest Class 3A Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association poll listed the ninth-ranked Cubs as receiving one of the 14 first place votes. Humes was unaware and somewhat shocked that his team had garnered a first-place vote.

"Oh we did? Man, I'm surprised. I didn't know that. I like that. That's nice," Humes laughed. "They won't let me vote or I'd vote for us. That first place vote shows that somebody is looking at us anyway and some teams don't get anybody looking at them."

Humes said regardless of the team's ranking or the distribution of first place votes, it will be business as usual for the Cubs.

"We don't really talk about it. If anybody asks, we'll say we're ninth and such but that's about all," Humes said. "You just want to go on a pretty even keel here."

"It's early yet and at this point those things don't count for much, you know," added assistant coach Dwight Inskeep.

Humes said the Cubs' tough schedule should be plenty to keep his team grounded and working hard and he'd have it no other way.

"We've got Jeff Friday and we've got to come back with New Washington and Seymour and Jennings and Bedford," Humes noted. "We've got four more conference games and rankings won't count for anything there.

"We're having fun. I wouldn't have it any other way. Weak schedules don't do anything for you ... this is fun right here," Humes laughed. "You get in games like that and I'm enjoying them and I think the fans are, too."

Madison visits Jeffersonville (2-2 overall, 0-2 HHC) Friday.


Tuesday's Girls Game

at Madison

3A No. 9 MADISON 64,


FLOYD CENTRAL 19 12 12 14 - 57

MADISON 12 23 13 16 - 64

FLOYD CENTRAL (3-2, 0-1 HHC) - (g)R. Kaiser 18, (f)M. Kaiser 15, (c)Bruno 10, (g)Hinton 9, Rost 3, (f)Kingsley 2, Engle 0.

MADISON (5-0, 2-0 HHC) - (g)Cain 21, (c)Crozier 12, Wynn 8, Holland 8, (f)Povaleri 7, (f)Hecox 6, Thurnall 2, (g)Jones 0, Bickers 0, Hartman 0.

3-Point Goals - Floyd Central 4 (R. Kaiser 1, M. Kaiser 1, Rost 1, Hinton 1), Madison 2 (Cain 2). Rebounds - Floyd Central 36 (R. Kaiser 10), Madison 36 (Crozier 12). Assists - Floyd Central 16 (Hinton 5), Madison 14 (Cain 5). Turnovers - Floyd Central 19, Madison 21. Total Fouls - Floyd Central 18, Madison 13. Free Throws - Floyd Central 9-14, Madison 18-23. Fouled Out - Floyd Central: R. Kaiser. Next Game - Floyd Central visits Southwestern Saturday. Madison visits Jeffesonville Friday.