MADISON — Spotting Old Orchard Beach an early 10-point lead wasn’t part of Madison’s game plan, but once the Bulldogs figured out the Seagulls’ zone defense, everything else went according to plan.

Madison rallied from that early deficit and pulled away in the second half Wednesday, earning a 56-39 win to advance to the Class C South boys’ basketball quarterfinals. No. 7 Madison (10-9) will face No. 2 Winthrop (14-4).

Old Orchard Beach, the No. 10 seed, ends the season at 9-10.

“Just better ball movement in the second half, and we attacked it a lot more,” Madison Coach Jason Furbush said of finding offensive flow against OOB’s zone defense. “The first half, we didn’t reverse the ball well, and they didn’t really have to move. When we started to make them move, we did a much better job.”

Most of Madison’s offense came on shots within a few feet of the basket. Big men Max Shibley (12 points) and Jacob Meader (10 points) combined for 16 points in the second half, and guard Sean Whalen gave the Bulldogs a spark by slashing to the hoop for 16 points.

“Just getting the jitters out, and finally working as a team and playing how we know to play. That really started us going,” Shibley said.

Madison trailed 14-4 with 2:07 left in the first quarter. After a timeout, the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 14-10 before OOB pushed the lead back to nine points, 21-12, early in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs outscored OOB 44-18 the rest of the way. Madison’s defense clamped down and forced 23 turnovers.

“These guys are great defensively when we play as a team. I think they were a little bit quicker than we thought they’d be out of the gate, and we adjusted to it,” Furbush said.

“We just knew we had to chip away at it, two points here, two points there,” Shibley said.

Ian Regan led the Seagulls with 15 points.

Evan Bess hit a baseline 3-pointer as the second quarter expired for Madison. The shot cut OOB’s lead to 23-22 and was the spark the Bulldogs needed going into the second half. Madison opened the third quarter with 12 straight points to take a 34-23 lead.

“Evan’s 3 is what got us going. It got the wind under our sails for sure,” Shibley said.

Shibley scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and pulled down four offensive rebounds. His final offensive rebound came on a missed free throw by Bess with 2:20 remaining. With Madison leading 50-39, that effectively ended OOB’s comeback chances.

Next up for Madison is a rematch with Winthrop, which split a pair of regular-season games against the Bulldogs – each winning on the other’s court. Madison and Winthrop met for the regional title last season, with the Ramblers coming out on top.

“Tough team, well-coached,” Furbush said of Winthrop. “They’re a tough matchup for anyone.”

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.