After trailing by one at the break, Madison scored 15 unanswered points at the start of the third quarter to run away with a 52-41 win over Kuna in the 5A state tournament Thursday at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
The Bobcats finished 28-of-45 from the free-throw line and combined with the Kavemen for 65 free-throw attempts.
Leah Dougherty paced Madison with 24 points, going 12-for-14 from the line. Hannah Wilson added 14 points and seven rebounds.
“Every time we got the ball and saw an opening, we just took it to the basket, because we knew we’d probably get fouled or have a kick-out,” Dougherty said. “That’s what we just looked to do, to be aggressive.”
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Madison (20-5) was playing in the state tournament for the first time since 2013, while Kuna (11-13) was making its first appearance at the 5A level.
The Kavemen led 21-20 at the half before running into foul trouble down the stretch. Late in the fourth quarter, four of Kuna’s five starters were playing with four fouls apiece.
“We talked about it in the locker room at halftime that we needed to be more aggressive and get on the rim,” Madison coach Traci Peterson said. “Kuna started fouling us pretty early too, so we kind of got lucky on that avenue.”
Madison moves into the state semifinals for the first time since 2002. The Bobcats last won a state title in 1990.
“We’ve worked so hard to get to where we are at,” Dougherty said. “Our hard work has really paid off.”
MADISON 52, KUNA 41
Kuna (11-13) — Ivy Hommel 8 points, Brooke Ray 1, Natalie Rose 3, Ashlyn Van Campen 12, Madi Thurston 10, Meghan Holloman 7. Rebound leader: Van Campen 10. Assist leader: Three with 1.
Madison (20-5) — Jazz Delgado 7 points, Ryan Tyler 1, Leah Dougherty 24, Madi Day 5, Hannah Wilson 14, Savanah Dick 1. Rebound leader: Wilson 7. Assist leader: Tyler 4.