MADISON — The Madison Cubs came out shooting against Columbus East on Friday night at Madison High School.
Madison’s first eight made field goals came from beyond the 3-point arc. However it would not be enough, as the second half intensity from East on both ends of the floor led to a 68-58 Hoosier Hills Conference victory for the Olympians (12-6, 6-1), snapping a three-game losing streak.
“I feel good about the win,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “We shot well in the second half, and were able to pick it up defensively.”
Madison’s 24 points off of 3-point goals in the first half, combined with a layup by Carson Wattenberger and two points off of a steal by Tanner Sauley in the final seconds of the half put the Cubs up 29-24 going into halftime.
The Olympians certainly made the right adjustments in the locker room before the second half.
Sparked by an immediate 3-point basket by senior Jesse Shea, the Olympians went on an 11-2 run to start the second half. Shea had 14 points off of the bench for East.
“Honestly, we just talked about playing better defense,” Chitty said of the defensive halftime adjustment. “You have to get up on the shooters, do not leave your feet, just fundamental things. Play with more intensity.”
East certainly increased the intensity, holding the Cubs to just eight third quarter points and outscoring Madison 23-8 in the third. Madison would see just one shot go in from beyond the arc in the second half, as East held its lead to the final buzzer.
“I thought our shot selection in the second half was really nice,” Chitty said. “We had some good inside work combined with some outside shots that we were able to knock down.”
Junior Bryce Lienhoop was consistent for the Olympians inside throughout the game, as he led all scorers with 17 points. Senior Nate Rich had 15 points for East, while senior Kyle Taylor added eight.
Although the Cubs challenged in the fourth quarter, enforcing a full-court press and shooting 93 percent from the line, they would not come within less than nine points of the Olympians.
“We just kept our composure,” Chitty said. “You have to play through. When you are on the road, you know it is gonna be crazy.”
Ryan Thurston led Madison with 16 points, followed by Nick Macon with 14.