Madison coach Sherron Wilkerson (left) talks with sophomore Jackson Falconberry during Thursday’s game against Lawrenceburg. (Photo by Devin Rowe)
Madison coach Sherron Wilkerson (left) talks with sophomore Jackson Falconberry during Thursday’s game against Lawrenceburg. (Photo by Devin Rowe)
Desperation for victory led to an extra 12 minutes of basketball before Lawrenceburg willed its way to a 66-63 triple overtime victory to deny Madison on senior night at Salm Gym Thursday.
Despite the Cubs’ best efforts late, the outcome remained the same for Madison for a seventh loss in a row.
“I was satisfied with our effort but there’s going to be five plays in a game that determine the outcome,” Madison head coach Sherron Wilkerson said. “You don’t know when those plays are going to be so anytime you fall asleep, one of those plays can happen. I thought we fell asleep at the wrong times tonight.”
Madison (10-9) didn’t lead in the game until the 6:07 mark of the fourth quarter when a Luke Miller layup gave the Cubs a 40-39 advantage. The Cubs then held a two-point lead until Lawrenceburg’s Mitch McCool tied the game with two free throws with 51 seconds remaining to force the initial overtime period.
Through the first two overtimes, both teams held leads only to see them quickly evaporate and put another four minutes on the clock.
Gavin Yoon hit back-to-back shots with 2:41 left in the first overtime and Lawrenceburg led 52-47 but Madison cut the deficit to one after Mason Welsh answered with a 3-pointer and Miller connected on a freebie. The Tigers got a response again off a bucket by Yoon a minute later to lead 54-51 but Miller came up big yet again, this time drilling a three to tie the game 54-54 with 39 seconds left and force the double overtime.
The Cubs were in control of the second extra frame and led 59-58 with 57 seconds to go on a free throw by Jared Ferguson only to have to play catch up after Garrett Yoon’s three from the left wing put Lawrenceburg in the driver’s seat 61-59 with just 28 seconds left. But as he had in the first overtime, Welsh answered the call for Madison, this time from the free throw line en route to knocking down a game-tying pair at 0:23 to send the marathon into triple overtime.
But in the game’s final four minutes, Lawrenceburg mustered up just enough to never trail the rest of the way and escape with the win.
Three free throws by Gavin Yoon put the Tigers up 64-61 at the 1:26 mark but Nick Center answered for Madson to trim the advantage to 64-63. Time then slipped away with 53 seconds ticking off the clock before the Cubs fouled Dahya Patel with 16 seconds left. He knocked down both freebies to put the Cubs behind 66-63.
Welsh managed to shake free on the game’s final play for what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer but the shot fell short at the buzzer.
Wilkerson said the loss serves as another teaching moment as Madison continues to deal with the adversity of another loss.
“At this level it comes down to who is the toughest,” Wilkerson said. “The teams in this state that are successful are tough, mentally tough and know how to deal with adversity. We are in the learning phase of that process right now. It’s a hard process. We have the talent, now we have to understand how to develop the hard work.”
Madison’s biggest concern on the night was on the defensive end despite only allowing 46 points through regulation.
Much of that had to do with Lawrenceburg leading scorer Gavin Yoon, who terrorized Madison en route to a game-high 35 points on 12-of-22 shooting including a 10-of-15 inside the arc. Madison was slow out of the gate, and Yoon dominated his way to 17 points in the first half for the Tigers to lead 28-20 at halftime. He also took over when the game was on the line late, especially from the free-throw line where he finished 9-of-11.
Making matters worse was Madison’s inability to keep Lawrenceburg out of the paint. Using their physical style of play to their favor, the Tigers penetrated the Cub defense, scoring 18 points in the paint and drawing contact underneath to pave the way to 18 made free throws.
Madison put a stranglehold on both areas to get back into the game late in the second half, but never could consistently do enough at the start or the finish to finally pull out a win.
“We couldn’t get stops,” Wilkerson said. “For us it was all about the defensive end. I said if we took five charges we would win the game and we took one. They had one player, their best player, score 35 points. We told the guys all week and in the huddle, it was going to come down to points in the paint and we gave up too many of them. That’s being tough. We’ve got to learn to be tough. That’s the next step for us.”
Madison struggled from the field and shot just 21-of-55 for 38% including a 5-of-18 clip from beyond the arc for 27% but managed three players in double figures.
Welsh, a senior playing in his final home game, led the Cubs with 19 points to go with seven rebounds. Center was 7-of-11 from the field and scored 17 points to go along with five assists and Miller added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Welsh and fellow senior Jared Ferguson — who had three points in the game — were honored prior to tip-off and Wilkerson spoke highly of both afterwards.
“Those two guys have been absolutely wonderful,” Wilkerson said of Welsh and Ferguson. “They are terrific young men on and off the floor and are so coachable. They’ve had three coaches in four years and considering the circumstances they’ve tried to do what we have asked. They have done their job as senior leaders and to implement the philosophy we have tried putting in here into this program.”
Madison (10-9) now closes out the regular season with a four-game road slate. The Cubs were to travel Friday night to Class 3A No. 5 Greensburg before returning to Hoosier Hills Conference play next Friday at Columbus East.
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THURSDAY’S BOYS GAME
at Madison
LAWRENCEBURG 66,
MADISON 63, 3 OT

L’BURG 11 17 9 9 8 7 5 — 66
CUBS 8 12 14 12 8 7 2 — 63

LAWRENCEBURG (10-8) — Gavin Yoon 35, Garrett Yoon 7, Chenault 7, Bobo 6, McCool 4, Patel 4, Roth 3, Rennekamp 0, Craig 0.
MADISON (10-9) — Welsh 19, Center 17, Miller 14, Oliver 6, Falconberry 4, Ferguson 3, Jones 0, Schafer 0.

3-Point Goals — Lawrenceburg 4 (Gav. Yoon 2, Gar. Yoon 1, Roth 1), Madison 5 (Miller 3, Welsh 2). Rebounds — Lawrenceburg 37 (Bobo 11, Chenault 9), Madison 34 (Miller 8, Welsh 7, Falconberry 7). Assists — Lawrenceburg 9 (Gav. Yoon 3), Madison 8 (Center 5). Turnovers — Lawrenceburg 14, Madison 11. Total Fouls — Lawrenceburg 23, Madison 19. Free Throws — Lawrenceburg 18-24, Madison 16-25. Fouled Out — Lawrenceburg: McCool. Madison: Oliver.