Furious comeback goes for naught as Madison eliminates FC from tourney
By John Estridge, Sports Editor
There were but four seconds left in the game, and Madison was hanging on to a tenuous two-point lead, 48-46.
Just six seconds before FC junior Taylor McCreary hit a field goal for the Wildcats bringing her team within two.
Madison junior Paige Young got her legs caught up with other players on the FC end of the floor as the Wildcats pressed.
Young went to the floor, skidding several feet across the hardwood.
The whistle blew, and the call was traveling. FC had the ball, and Young was in tears.
A Wildcat took an off-balanced shot from the left wing when she received the throw in from out-of-bounds.
The shot went just a little long, and almost fittingly Young came down with the rebound. She fed it to the amazing Lady Cub sophomore Jade Nutley who was immediately fouled. Unfortunately for the Lady Wildcats, there were but 0.3 seconds left in their season.
Nutley made both free throws for the final score, 50-46.
FC played the best basketball of the two teams during the game’s final three quarters. Unfortunately, first-quarter jitters doomed the Wildcats.
At the end of the game’s first eight minutes, the Cubs held a 15-6 advantage.
FC had eight first-quarter turnovers including three in just over a minute into the game.
By that time, the Cubs had a 6-0 lead.
Senior Abby Orschell scored her team’s first field goal with 6:20 left in the first quarter and the score 6-2.FC seemed to climb back into it on a senior Jenna Orschell’s field goal that preceded another field goal by senior Megan Getz.
Madison held an 11-6 lead with 3:20 remaining in the quarter, but then the Wildcats went cold again and was scoreless through the rest of the quarter.
McCreary arguably had the best game of her season. With but four seconds left in the first half, she calmly sank both free throws to bring the Wildcats within four, 25-21.
In the second half, it was the Wildcats versus Nutley. The Cubs scored 25 points in the second half, with Nutley scoring 20 of the 25. For the game, Nutley finished with a game-high 25 points. That was half of Madison’s scoring for the game. Young was next in scoring for Madison with nine points.
Nutley is about 6-2 and is an old-time low-post player with her back to the goal. However, she could step outside and nail a three when the occasion called for it.
At the Wildcat end, Jenna Orschell was doing all she could for her team. The diminutive front-court player pulled down a team-high 13 boards and scored seven points.
Unfortunately, for the Wildcats, Jenna Orschell fouled out with 1:18 left in the game.
That was one of the statistics that fed into the Madison win: The Cubs attempted 17 free throws, making 13 while the Wildcats had only seven free-throw attempts, making five. That is a difference of eight points.
One of the bright spots for the Wildcats was McCreary. She scored 11 points making five field goals in eight attempts for a 63 percent shooting average.
And FC’s leading scorer all season, Abby Orschell, again led the Wildcats in scoring with 15 points. She also dished out five assists and made three steals.
Madison almost defeated highly touted Lawrenceburg Saturday night in the semifinal. Lawrenceburg eked out a win, 41-39.
In the sectional championship held Monday night, Greensburg barely defeated Lawrenceburg 55-53.
Games were postponed until Friday, Saturday and Monday due to the brutal cold and snow from a week ago.
FC ended its season with a 7-15 record. Madison took an 11-14 record into the off-season.
Greensburg will play 22-3 Salem at the Charlestown Regional. In the other bracket, are Vincennes Lincoln at 23-3 versus Gibson Southern which has the same record. Greensburg is 20-4.