BY MIKE RILEY
Having won three games in a row and seven of their last eight, and it being Senior Night, the Charlestown Pirates had every reason to be optimistic for a victory over the Madison Cubs on Friday. A victory would definitely be a feather in the Pirates’ cap as the Cubs entered the game at 15-4 and on the verge of cracking the top 10 in the latest Class 3A coaches poll.
But with sectional play upcoming, one couldn’t help but think that the Pirates’ minds would possibly be elsewhere. Regardless, it was Madison that came away with a 60-45 victory at Charlestown Sports Arena.
Understand, upcoming next Wednesday in the opening round of the Class 3A Scottsburg Sectional is Silver Creek.
Charlestown could ask for nothing more.
You see, Silver Creek has handed the Pirates two of their defeats this season. Both were one-point losses and both at Charlestown, 47-46 on Dec. 8 in the regular-season matchup and then 33-32 on Dec. 22 during the Charlestown Holiday Tournament final.
“We’ve got a one track mind — Silver Creek,” said Charlestown coach Sam Terrell. “Madison is a good team and they played a good game tonight. We didn’t play like we had the last eight or nine games, but Madison took us out of a lot that we wanted to do. And we had one thing on our minds — Silver Creek.
Charlestown (10-10) played well enough to lead 8-6 after a quarter. Then after trailing 23-15 at halftime, the Pirates responded with a 7-2 run to open the third quarter to pull to within 25-22.
But from there, it was mostly all Madison.
The Cubs forced Charlestown into 28 turnovers, 14 in each half which was more than enough to offset the Pirates effort on the boards. Charlestown matched the bigger and stronger Cubs on the glass, as each team grabbed 32 rebounds.
Kaitlynn Henning led the Pirates in scoring with 18 points, 16 of those coming after halftime as the Cubs held her to just two field-goal attempts in the first half. Fellow sophomore Justice Burdin added 17 points, but the Pirates only had four players reach the scoring column.
Olivia Crozier led Madison (16-4) with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Whitney Wynn came off the bench to score 15 points and grab eight rebounds.
And Silver Creek, who won their regular season finale 41-40 over Floyd Central on Thursday awaits.
“We felt like we’ve had their number for some time and this season they’ve taken that from us,” Terrell said. “We’re playing well and they’re playing well. Hopefully, we can get over the hump. As far as tonight win lose or draw, it’s time for Silver Creek.”