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Cougars succumb to Madison in 2nd half

February 02, 2011
The North Harrison Cougars are still trying to get their feet going in the right direction, and for a while it looked like they were headed that way against visiting Madison Saturday night. Misfortune struck again in the second half, however, and the Cougars saw their night end up on the losing end, 61-51.

"It's real frustrating," North Harrison coach Greg Walters said. "You want so much for the guys, and you want them to do well. As a coach, let's just put it this way, it's real humbling sometimes. All we can do is come back on Monday and get after it and compete. Every position is open come Monday."

North Harrison’s Josh Wenning loses the handle on the ball as Madison’s Corey Povaleri hovers overhead. Photos by Wade Bell
The Cougars had a good first quarter as they pushed the ball inside against the Cubs and raced to a 13-4 lead, with all but three of those points coming in the paint.

Corey Povaleri got a deuce-and-one for the Cubs, but Corey Smith negated that in the paint, and the Cougars owned a 15-7 lead after the first period.

Madison began the second quarter with an 8-2 burst, with Seth Pennington and Sean Hoevener cashing in three-balls to cut the gap to 17-15. The Cubs later closed to within one when Landon Perry sandwiched a pair of deuces around a Dakota Bosler single.

Lincoln Jones got a pair of singles for the Cougars, but Ryan Thurston countered with two. North Harrison's Dylan Janes got the last bucket of the half, and the Cougars took a 24-21 lead to locker room at the break.

"We got off to a good start. We made some shots early and they were playing with a lot of energy," Walters said. "That didn't carry over into the second half."

Walters said the halftime talk was about "being patient and more of the same, attacking the goal, playing solid defense and trying to keep our hands off the guys, and trying to out rebound them."

Jones pushed the Cougars' lead back to five to start the third period, but the Cubs countered with a 7-0 burst to lead 30-28. Madison committed three fouls, but the Cougars were unable to convert. Smith and Thurston canceled each other out on the next two scoring possessions.

Dakota Bosler fires up a shot over a Madison player. The Cougars struggled in the second half of their 61-51 loss to the Cubs.
Josh Wenning pushed North Harrison ahead with two free throws and a deuce, but Evan Hackney started a 9-0 run for a 43-36 Madison lead.

From that point on, the Cubs stayed out in front and went on to earn the 61-51 win.

"We didn't have a very good second half," said Walters, putting it simply. "We didn't play very well."

Colin Book led North Harrison (3-10, 0-7 Mid-Southern Conference) with 18 points, and Jones followed with 10. The Cougars were 17 of 44 from the field (39 percent) and 11 of 17 from the charity stripe. North Harrison had 11 turnovers, six of those coming in the third quarter. Smith, a freshman, had been shooting well in earlier outings but had an off-night with just five points.

"He shot it real well last night (against West Washington)," Walters said. "He made five threes. He's a great kid and he's a freshman, and we're asking a lot of him. His game still hasn't fully developed. He's going to end up being a really good player for North Harrison. At this point, he's got to develop his game to be able to play off the dribble a little bit and do some other things. He does and he comes in and works hard at it. He'll eventually have it."

Povaleri led Madison (3-11) with 15 points, and Jay Frazier finished with 14. Madison shot the ball well, connecting on 20 of 35 field goals (57 percent) and 16 of 20 free throws. The Cubs had 11 turnovers.

"It was really a momentum switch," Walters said. "They hit a couple of threes there, and we had maybe three or four fouls in a row on us down there on their end, and we never got to come back after we scored early in that third quarter.

"They used some different defenses. They used a 3-2 zone and went 2-3 zone when we got a lead. When we shoot the ball well, teams are playing us to where we get to the rim and attack it. Obviously, those two defenses take that away. We weren't able to get anything inside. Our post players could have maybe done a little better job of posting up and calling for the ball. We'll work on that on Monday."

"We've got a few games left in the season," he said, "and we want to go out with guys who want to put forth with maximum effort and play as hard as they can, win or lose. … We want the guys to win and do well. We want to win and we want to win for the community, and the community deserves a winner. We're going to continue to keep chugging along and trying and doing our best at it."

North Harrison will visit Crawford County Friday and Heritage Hills Saturday. The varsity game on both nights will begin at 7:30.

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