Madison senior Paige Young (23) drives down the floor as Charlestown’s Jackie Biscardi takes chase during the season opener for both teams on Thursday. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison senior Paige Young (23) drives down the floor as Charlestown’s Jackie Biscardi takes chase during the season opener for both teams on Thursday. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Madison and Charlestown played what could only be described as a typical basketball season opener on Thursday, trading ugly shots and numerous turnovers over the entire 32 minutes.

In the end, it was Cubs who came out on top, 41-37, and while Madison did not play its best game, coach Sonja Bowyer was more than happy to take the win.

“I expected a little first-game jitters and the first quarter was really trying. We had a LOT of first-game jitters,” Bowyer said. “But we finally settled down and got a little bit of a cushion. Last year we played ugly and lost those games. This year, we didn’t do that.”

Madison couldn’t have started the game off any worse. The Cubs turned the ball over on six of their first seven possessions and missed a layup on the other possession.

But Madison found itself trailing by only four during that span thanks to a Charlestown squad that wasn’t doing much better, with four turnovers and two missed shots of its own.

Jade Nutley finally broke the spell for the Cubs with a bucket and Madison closed the first quarter on an 11-5 run to take a two-point lead after one quarter. Although Madison’s problems were far from over, the Cubs played much better over the final three periods.

“We’ve got some unique girls out there who can do a lot of things and I think you could see how excited they were. They were just buzzing with excitement,” Bowyer said. “I love to see that, and they went out there and got it done, which I was proud to see.”

Madison did not trail after the first quarter but it never put the game away either. An 8-0 run early in the second put the Cubs ahead 19-11 but Charlestown came back to pull to within four (21-17) at halftime and eventually tied the game 23-23 midway through the third.

Nutley responded with four-straight free throws and sophomore Taylor Lynch came off the bench to spark Madison with a basket to build a 29-26 lead after three quarters.

After opening the game missing five of its first nine free throws, Madison closed the night by going 10-for-11 at the line in the second half and built a 41-34 lead with a minute to play. Charlestown scored three points in the final minute — all at the line — for the final margin.

Nutley, Madison’s 6-foot junior all-star candidate, struggled from the floor, going just 2-for-8, but she was a perfect 8-for-8 at the free-throw line and finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Lynch and Perry each added eight points for Madison off the bench, giving the Cubs a much-needed spark in the second half.

“(Lynch is) just so smart with the basketball and a great kid. We knew she was going to help us out today, we just didn’t know what aspect,” Bowyer said. “We’ve got so many girls that can do so many different things at different times. Tonight was Taylor’s night, but tomorrow could be somebody else’s night. We have some weapons. As long as we can put them together, we’ll be all right.”

Senior Paige Young added seven points for Madison and classmate Jessie Dyer had two points and 10 rebounds.

Peyton Crace led Charlestown with 16 points and Demaria King scored seven with 10 rebounds.

Madison, now 1-0, returns to action Tuesday at Lawrenceburg. The Tigers ended Madison’s season in the sectional a year ago.

———

at Madison

MADISON 41, CHARLESTOWN 37



CHARLESTOWN 9 8 9 11 — 37

MADISON 11 10 8 12 — 41



CHARLESTOWN (0-1) — Crace 16, Biscardi 8, Watson 7, King 3, Hawkins 2, Cochran 1, Chester 0, McCoy 0.

MADISON (1-0) — Nutley 12, Lynch 8, Perry 8, Young 7, Jay 2, Watson 2, Dyer 2.



3-Point Goals — Charlestown 3 (Crace 2, Biscardi 1), Madison 1 (Young 1). Rebounds — Charlestown 31 (King 10), Madison 40 (Nutley 12, Dyer 10). Assists — Charlestown 7 (Biscardi 3), Madison 4 (Dyer 1, Lynch 1, Nutley 1, Watson 1). Turnovers — Charlestown 9, Madison 19. Total Fouls — Charlestown 16, Madison 15. Free Throws — Charlestown 6-12, Madison 14-20.