SELLERSBURG — Silver Creek was having trouble keeping underdog Madison at bay when freshman forward Trey Kaufman stepped up and helped the host Dragons to a 52-46 win Friday night.
Kaufman scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half, including some key baskets during a late third quarter surge.
Madison (6-9) put up a fight against the 10th-ranked Dragons (12-3) and Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman wasn’t at all pleased with how his team responded.
“We won and a mentally weak team can be pleased,” said Hoffman. “I wasn’t happy. I was disappointed in our conversions on free throws and layups.”
The Dragons hit just 8-of-18 from the free throw line – a recipe for disaster against a better opponent. And that better opponent is less than 24 hours away. The Dragons host Class 4A No. 6 Bloomington South today at 7:30 p.m.
Hoffman wasn’t accepting taking Madison lightly or looking forward to South as a reason for his team’s lack of focus.
“I don’t think we’ll make excuses for that,” he said, adding, “Credit to Madison. That’s one of the better games they’ve played this year.”
Leading by six at the break, the Dragons pulled out to a double-digit margin when Sammy Barnett had a steal that led to two free throws and a 27-17 lead with 6:13 left in the third quarter.
Madison’s Carson Howser capped a 6-0 run by the Cubs to make it 27-23 midway through the quarter. That’s when Kaufman took over for the Dragons.
Over the next two and a half minutes, Kaufman had two putback baskets and a pair of 3-pointers to help the Dragons to a 37-27 lead at the 1:35 mark of the third quarter.
Silver Creek had a 39-28 advantage when Madison’s Cooper Yancey hit a 3 at the buzzer and it was 39-31 going into the fourth quarter.
As they had for much of the game, the Dragons looked to put it away only to sputter on offense. A 3-pointer and a field goal by Kaufman helped Silver Creek to a 46-33 lead with 5:55 left in the game. That was followed with a scoring drought covering three and a half minutes that stalled the Dragons, but Madison was unable to take full advantage.
A field goal by Bennett Beyl made it 49-38 with 1:28 left, but the Cubs kept coming. With 30 seconds left, Ian Strouse scored to get the Cubs within 49-43 and cap a 10-3 run by Madison.
Moments later, a 3-pointer by Yancey made it 50-46 with only six seconds left. Time ran out on the Cubs.
Silver Creek edged out to a six point lead at the break, thanks to stingy defense and hustle that helped the Dragons overcome a flat offensive effort.
Madison took control early, taking a 5-0 lead in the opening two minutes. Silver Creek answered with defense to go on a 12-0 run. Gross got it started with a steal and assist on a Beyl fast break layup to make it 5-2 with five minutes left in the quarter.
Ty Kessinger followed that with a steal and a fast break layup. Back-to-back Madison turnovers then led to a third chance put back by Gross and a three-pointer by Hunter Popp.
Gross capped the run with a 3-pointer and the Dragons led 12-5 at the 2:15 mark.
Madison, facing a highly regarded squad on the road, didn’t flinch. The Cubs answered with two 3s by Yancey as part of an 8-0 run in the final two minutes of the quarter. Yancey’s second long-range shot – at the buzzer – gave Madison a 13-12 lead.
Silver Creek got off to a good start in the second quarter. Leading 14-13, the Dragons got a steal and fastbreak assist by Barnett on a layup by Gross to make it 16-13 at the 4:30 mark.
Kessinger knocked down a 3 moments later to cap a 7-0 run and Silver Creek looked to be in control again.
Madison answered – again, cutting the deficit to two at 19-17 on a basket by Luke Schafer with 2:20 left in the half.
Silver Creek maintained the lead with baskets by Jacob Garrett and Kooper Jacobi – both on assists by Gross. That 4-0 surge at the end of the half put the Dragons up six at the break.
For the game, Gross scored 13 points and had six assists for the Dragons. Madison was paced by Yancey, who hit four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Strouse added 10 points in the loss.
SILVER CREEK 52, MADISON 46
Madison 13 4 14 15—46
Silver Creek 12 11 16 13—52
Madison (6-9): Cooper Yancey 17, Ian Strouse 10, Landon Conner 3, Hunter Anderson 5, Carson Howser 8, Carson Livingston 1, Luke Schafer 2.
Silver Creek (12-3): Ty Kessinger 5, Bennett Beyl 4, Zane Gross 13, Hunter Popp 3, Trey Kaufman 18, Jack Hawkins 1, Josh Landers 2, Sammy Barnett 2, Jacob Garrett 2, Kooper Jacobi 2.
3-point field goals: Madison 6 (Yancey 4, Conner 1, Anderson 1), Silver Creek 6 (Kaufman 3, Gross 1, Popp 1, Kessinger 1).
Junior varsity: Silver Creek 52, Madison 22.
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