By RICH KELLY
For the Star Beacon
MADISON TOWNSHIP —
Madison boys basketball coach Pat Moran has Blue Streaks at just the right time with a 73-58 non-conference home win over the West Geauga Wolverines Tuesday night.
Keying the win was well balanced scoring and the strength of an 11-2 run to close out the first half after the Wolverines had fought and clawed their way back from an early 7-point deficit to close to 26-24 with just over 4 minutes left before intermission.
“It’s a pretty impressive tribute to the kids to think of what we had to do after losing our first 3 games,” Moran said. “We’ve had to accomplish a lot. It’s pretty good to go on a 10-4 streak over 14 games and 6-1 over our last 7 games, too. I really wasn’t happy with our effort tonight. We gave up way too much dribble penetration in the first half, and we didn’t contain the ball well at all.
“Maybe some of it is a carryover from our tough game with South in our last game’ but I just wasn’t happy with the effort tonight. We want to finish strong. I’m really proud of the fact that we reached 10 wins again. It’s a great thing for our juniors and seniors, especially.”
That run gave Madison (10-7) a 37-26 lead at the break. Four different players scored in the spurt, but the Wolverines used a 5-point run to close the gap midway through the third period at 44-33. Madison got into foul trouble and the Wolverines (5-13) knocked down some free throws and appeared on the verge of something big.
Then, at the 1:29 mark of the quarter, a Wolverine player was nailed with a technical foul for a less-than-stellar reaction to a play. Coach John Cardiero asked for an explanation, another technical was called, and Jordan McClure of Madison nailed all 4 freebies to push the lead back to 50-33, and both teams played inconsistently down the stretch to the final horn.
McClure paced Madison with 20 points. John Dahlhausen added 15 to go with 13 rebounds and 3 assists in a solid overall game and Aaron Petruccelli chipped in with 12 points and 4 assists. Jack Holl was solid with 10 points in the paint, and the Blue Streaks clinked and clanked to the finish line.
“I think getting to this point with the way we’ve played lately is a big deal,” Moran said. “People don’t realize that this group of juniors and seniors only won four games total when they were in junior high school, so winning now is really a big deal for them. We’ve been inconsistent far too much, but Jack Holl has finally gotten settled into his inside game with confidence, and John Dahlhausen is just a great overall athete.”
“We wanted to keep attacking Madison at the basket,” Cardiero said. “You need to use the clock when you can because when you score while it’s stopped, it can be a great friend’ and I tried to tell the kids that. We made some free throws’ but we also missed some. All I’m preaching to the kids now to to put out their best effort every second of the games. We lost a lot of good players to graduation, so these kids are still growing up to the game. I’m pleased overall tonight because Madison is pretty big and they are physical. We gave them too much dribble penetration, especially in the second half’ but I told the kids to just keep attacking.”
David Wolfhope led them with 12 points, Mike Archiable and Anthony Insana each added 10, but after shooting 48 percent from the floor in the first half, they could muster only 25 percent in the second half, including just 2 of 9 in that decisive third period.
Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.