Madison’s Jackson Falconberry goes to the basket during Saturday’s game at home. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison’s Jackson Falconberry goes to the basket during Saturday’s game at home. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Everything seemed to click in Madison’s direction on Saturday. The Cubs shot nearly 60 percent from the floor, turned the ball over only nine times and rolled to a huge win over a sectional foe, whipping Charlestown 94-69 in boys basketball.

But as fun as the game was for the fans to watch, it wasn’t as much fun for Sherron Wilkerson. Lost in the easy transition baskets and uncontested layups was a lack of focus that the first-year coach knows will not work when the Cubs face stiffer competition starting this week.

“It’s something where we need to be really focused. We’re trying to prepare for when you’ve got teams like Silver Creek and North Harrison in your sectional, your room for error is limited,” Wilkerson said. “We’ve really tried to focus on the process and I don’t think we did a very good of making the process happen. We got a win, which is good, but in comparison, we’ve got a lot of loose ends to tie up.”

The win, coupled with Friday’s close victory at Scottsburg, improved Madison’s season record to 10-2, its best mark after 12 games since the 1998-99 season. It was also the second time in the past four games that the Cubs have reached the 90-point mark.

After a tight first quarter that saw Madison lead only 21-19, the rest of the game belonged to the Cubs who scored nearly at will. After jumping ahead 46-32 at the half, Madison stayed on the gas over the final two quarters with 10 different players scoring in the game.

But while the final score was impressive, Charlestown entered the contest with only one win and was expected to provide much competition. That will change starting this weekend when Madison host New Albany then face a three-game stretch against Class 4A No. 8 Floyd Central, Class 3A No. 1 Silver Creek and North Harrison that will show exactly where the Cubs stand against some of the best teams in the state.

It was that slate of upcoming games — not to mention contests against Greensburg and Jeffersonville in February — that Wilkerson was worried about.

“Those guys are well-respected programs and they’re well-coached programs,” Wilkerson said. “I think the thing for us is the urgency. We’re trying to put ourselves in a position to build a program back to where it has been in the past and that’s not an easy task. We want to win, but ultimately we want to get ourselves ready for the ultimate goal, which is the sectional.”

Sophomore Jackson Falconberry was a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor and also hit his only free throw to score a career-high 21 points to lead the Cubs. Falconberry became the fifth different player to reach the 20-point mark in a game this season for Madison showcasing the team’s depth.

“He’s such a great athlete and we’re trying to get him to understand that athletes are really good in the open floor where you’ve got space. And he’s a rim-runner,” Wilkerson said. “He’s 10-for-10 tonight because most of them were layups around the rim where he just beats his guy down the floor and the other guys just throw it up. He should be an easy process and he’s really starting to embrace that role. I think it’s starting to show.”

Luke Miller had 17 points for Madison, Kaden Oliver scored 16, Nick Center had 12 and Luke Ommen scored 11 as five different Cubs reach double figures in scoring. Center also had nine rebounds and three blocks in just his second game back from an ankle injury and Mason Welsh had seven assists and no turnovers to go along with six points.

Ty Croce scored 13 points and Matthew Henning had 12 for Charlestown.

Madison begins the toughest portion of its schedule on Friday when the Cubs host New Albany. Seven of the 11 teams left have winning records, starting with a Bulldog teams that Madison hasn’t beaten since the 1998-99 season, a stretch of 20-straight games.

“They’ve got 6-6, 6-6, 6-7 across the front line so we’re going to have our hands full on defense,” Wilkerson said. “This is a unique group because we’ve got five or six guys that are capable of scoring 20 on any given night. Offense has never been our problem. Even last night (against Scottsburg) in a very tough game, we didn’t shoot the ball very well but we were able to win the game because of our defense. That’s what we’re trying to get everybody to buy into. Defense wins championship. Talent wins games, but defense wins championships and that’s what we’re really trying to establish.”


at Madison


CHARLESTOWN 19 13 16 21 — 69

MADISON 22 24 24 24 — 94

CHARLESTOWN (1-10) — Henning 13, Brown 12, West 9, Davis 8, Craig 8, Cook 6, Phillips 3, Crawford 2, Wagers 2, Joseph 0, Rothbauer 0.

MADISON (10-2) — Falconberry 21, Miller 17, Oliver 16, Center 12, Ommen 11, Welsh 6, Schafer 4, Jones 3, Ferguson 2, Yancey 2, Scroggins 0, Roark 0, Barnes 0.

3-Point Goals — Charlestown 5 (Croce 1, Brown 1, Craig 1, Cook 1, Phillips 1), Madison 5 (Miller 3, Oliver 1, Ommen 1). Rebounds — Charlestown 32 (West 6), Madison 36 (Center 9). Assists — Charlestown 5 (Brown 2, Crawford 2), Madison 23 (Welsh 7). Turnovers — Charlestown 13, Madison 9. Total Fouls — Charlestown 17, Madison 13. Free Throws — Charlestown 6-9, Madison 13-23. Fouled Out — None.