Sunday, March 9, 2014
MADISON — A perimeter team for much of the season, the Madison girls basketball team decided to change things up as it gears up for what it hopes to be a nice, long run through the Western C tournament at the Augusta Civic Center next month.
“We want to go inside a little more now,” Madison coach Al Veneziano said. “We’re trying to post up now. This is a little bit new for us. We’ve been perimeter-oriented, but in the tournament games going to the post could be key for us.”
It was certainly key Friday night for Madison (12-3), which cruised to a 48-30 victory over Mountain Valley Conference rival Hall-Dale.
Samantha Bruce led three players in double figures with 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds to pace Madison. Forward Bronte Elias scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead a balanced attack.
“We really wanted to work on our post moves,” Elias said. “We’ve been working on that a lot. We want to over-power people. We were able to post up (Friday). It’s a big win for us.”
Brooke Berberich and Signe Lynch each scored six points for Hall-Dale (6-8).
“They have so much length,” Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill said. “It is hard to score against that team. There are not many gaps to cut through. They just clog up everything in the middle. They have some effective big girls.”
Madison, which came into the game ranked first in Western C Heal points, came out a bit tentative and trailed 6-5 three minutes into the game. But paint-pounding Madison quickly took control of the game when it closed the first half on a 25-7 run.
Hall-Dale, which played without injured starting center Allison Crockett (shoulder), never recovered and it headed home tagged with its second consecutive defeat.
“It’s tough,” Terrill said. “We stayed with them for awhile but they just made it difficult for us.”
Forward Kirsten Wood scored six of her 10 points in the game-altering run on easy looks in the paint. Elias also scored six points — all on inside baskets — in the spurt as well.
“We were able to post up on them pretty easily,” Elias said. “It’s fun when you can get it inside like that.”
Madison led 11-8 after the first quarter and 29-13 at the break. Bruce scored eight of her 13 points in the first half.
“We have a variety of people who can score in the post,” she said. “We just worked hard. Our intensity was up. We’ll take every win.”
Madison opened the second half with an 8-2 run, fueled by a Bruce 3-pointer, to quell any chance of a Hall-Dale comeback.
“We’ll continue to keep working on this,” Veneziano said. “Hopefully, it will work out well for us.”
Emily McKenney had nine rebounds, two steals and four points for Madison as well.
Bill Stewart — 621-5640