MADISON — A lot has gone right for the the Madison girls basketball team in the first half of the season, including its play on the defensive end of the floor.

That was again evident Tuesday night, when the Bulldogs sank Maranacook 53-38 in a Mountain Valley Conference clash at Veneziano’s Gym.

Madison (7-0) also showcased its depth.

Mackenzie Robbins led the Bulldogs (7-0) with 18 points while Alison Griffeth had nine points. Emma Anton added eight points for Madison.

“We were in a little bit of a slump, so it was good to get out of there (with a win), we really needed that,” said Robbins, a junior guard.

Natalie Mohlar led the Black Bears (5-2) with 20 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Hadley Farwell added seven points.


Madison’s bench was needed against Maranacook. Both Griffeth and Robbins had early foul trouble. And starting guard Raegan Cowan was knocked out of the game in the first quarter with an injured nose.

“I was excited about (the bench) play, because they were put in positions they wouldn’t normally be put in,” Madison head coach Adam Rich said. “You have (junior guard) Liz Kelley coming off the bench and playing the point guard role. You have (junior guard) Ella Haynie doing the same thing. (Senior guard) Kylee Furbush had to go from her traditional role to the wing. They all played a different role they don’t normally play. It was amazing to watch that happen.”

The Bulldogs jumped out on a 9-0 run, with Griffeth scoring eight of her nine points in the first quarter. Defensively, Madison forced 24 turnovers in the first half. The Bulldogs entered halftime with a 27-12 lead.

“When we start (the game) off strong, we end strong,” Robbins said. “The games that we start off weak is when we usually don’t play as good. Today, it was good.”

“I think our strength is our defense,” Rich added. “We kind of pulled them back in the second half, because of the numbers and fouls. We stress getting help in the (passing) tracks, if we can get to them. Just the intensity of how they get to those things, that’s our strength as a defense.”

Maranacook played significantly better in the second half, particularly senior guard Mohlar, who took charge offensively. The Black Bears outscored the Bulldogs by a 26-25 margin in the second half.

The Black Bears were able to whittle Madison’s lead to as little as nine points, but Robbins managed to put the game away in the fourth quarter with a key 3-pointer in the corner with two minutes left.

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