After opening the season with three straight losses against three of the area’s top teams, Madison claimed its first win by topping Harvey on Monday, 71-42.
“It’s good because now we have something to feel good about,” said Madison coach Tedd Wagner. “We still have another tough week with Kenston and Chardon coming up but now we at least have a feel for what success tastes like.”
Madison opened the season with games against regional tournament participants Perry and North and a game against West Geauga, who lost to Perry in a district championship game.
The Blue Streaks had their moments in those contests but they put it all together against the Red Raiders.
Riley Montagner and Chloe Bancroft powered the Blue Streaks to a 38-25 halftime lead.
Montagner scored 18 of her game-high 24 and Bancroft scored eight of her 13 in the first half. The sharpshooting duo combined for six 3-pointers in the first two periods.
“They really packed in a 2-3 and 1-3-1 the first half and normally we try to attack inside but they were pretty much letting our shooters shoot,” Wagner said. “Bancroft and Montagner were a little bit cold at the beginning but right before halftime they caught fire so we could get a little bit of separation.”
Madison outscored Harvey in the third quarter, 22-11, allowing the Blue Streaks to cruise in the fourth quarter.
“In the second half, we got some steals in our press and got some easy buckets,” Wagner said. “That kind of loosened things up a little bit and we started attacking inside. We got a lot more of those hustle baskets, a lot of put-backs in the first half and some buckets off transition. It was a well-rounded effort.”
Elizabeth Bottar and Alyssa Lavdis both contributed with eight points in the win.
“It felt really good to finally get a win,” said Lavdis, one of the team’s three seniors. “We started right off the bat facing very good competition. I think getting this win is something we can carry over to the next game and the games after that.”
Despite the 0-3 start, Lavdis believes the Blue Streaks learned a lot from the losses and have continued to grow as a team.
“Our team doesn’t come out of a loss disappointed,” she said. “We take our losses as lessons. After every game, Coach Wags does a very good job of talking to us and helping us get better. We go over film and break down the things that didn’t work in the game. We are a competitive team and we knew we would be getting a win soon.”
Kirsten Woleben finished with seven points and Payton Lewanski added five.
“I thought we had pretty good balance,” Wagner said. “Those are the girls that got their hustle baskets, got some steals and hit their moments. It was pretty well-balanced compared to our first couple of games.”
Madison hosts Kenston on Wednesday.