MADISON — It was more than just a battle between two teams with Bulldogs as mascots. It was one of the most appealing matchups of the young season: Madison, the last remaining undefeated girls basketball team in Western C, against Hall-Dale, the defending Class C state champion.

For one half, it was all you could ask for from a great matchup. The second half, however, was dominated by Madison’s defense. Hall-Dale scored seven points in the third quarter and none in the fourth, as Madison pulled away for a 51-34 victory on Monday night.

The first half was entertaining, run-and-gun basketball, as both teams put on a full-court press and went full bore on offense. Madison (6-0) hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter, and used an 11-0 run to go ahead 17-8. But Hall-Dale immediately responded with an 11-0 run of its own. By halftime, Madison led, 31-27, and the two teams had combined for 58 field goal attempts.

“I thought the first half was really a great half of basketball,” Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill said. “It was two good teams, up and down the court. It’s not very often in this league that you see a halftime score of 31-27. Those are final scores sometimes in this conference.”

What turned the game was defense, and specifically, the defense Madison played on Hall-Dale star Carylanne Wolfington. Lyndsay Weese guarded Wolfington 1-on-1, and whenever Wolfington tried to drive to the basket, she was herded off by an army of players in white uniforms. Wolfington finished with six points and missed all 10 of her field goal attempts in the second half.

“We planned to have everyone help if we needed it,” Weese said. “We’ve been working on defense all year-round.”

“Lyndsay did a fantastic job,” Madison coach Al Veneziano said. “She’s got length. She’s got quickness. I figured that if she was guarding her, then everybody else can help, and it worked.”

Weese, a 5-foot-7 guard, had five points and 12 rebounds, and Alex Jarvais scored 11 points. Sam Bruce was Madison’s top scorer, with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Madison led 40-34 at the end of the third quarter, and Hall-Dale looked out of sync in the final eight minutes. In the fourth quarter, Hall-Dale (5-2) was 0-for-11 from the floor with 10 turnovers, and had at least four starters on the floor until the final 11.3 seconds of the quarter.

“We just didn’t have it in the second half,” Terrill said. “I thought in the third quarter, Madison out-hustled us to loose balls. They were a little stronger than we were in the third quarter, and that kind of carried over into the fourth.”

Wolfington is such an impact player that she probably won’t see a 1-on-1 defense with no help the rest of the season. Hall-Dale certainly has other players who can score, like Allison Crockett (14 points, 12 rebounds), Wendy Goldman (seven points, 12 rebounds), Natasha Brown (seven points) and Kristina Buck. Those four players combined for 21 points in the first half and seven after the break.

“We don’t want to turn into Carylanne and four spectators on the floor,” Terrill said. “We want to run our base offense, and have her be a significant part of it, but just one finger on the fist, so to speak.

“I’m not sure our answer is, how many ways can we get Carylanne the ball? I think our answer is, everybody on the floor needs to score the basketball.”

Carrabec 43, Winthrop 21: Jessica Vaillancourt played a strong all-around game to lead the Cobras to the MVC win in North Anson.

Vaillancourt finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. Macy Andrews added nine rebounds for the Cobras while Makayla Leeman scored eight points. Shawna Carlson led Winthrop with eight points.

Carrabec is 2-4, Winthrop is 0-5.

Mt. Abram 38, Wiscasset 23: The Roadrunners’ defense held the Redskins to three second-half points on their way to the MVC win.

Miranda Smith led all scorers with 17 points for Mt. Abram (3-3) while Mykayla Luce chipped in with seven.

Wiscasset (0-6) was led by Kayla Connors with 14 points.

Boys basketball

Wiscasset 66, Mt. Abram 48: The visitors jumped to a 22-9 first-quarter lead en route to the Mountain Valley Conference win in Salem. Jason Weatherby led Wiscasset with 21 points while Devon Grover added 12 and Jordan Jones 10. Tyler Hupper paced Mt. Abram with 17 points and four blocked shots while Ian James scored 10. Wiscasset is 2-4, Mt. Abram is 3-4.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.