NAMPA—It was a Friday night rumble in the Ford Idaho Center as Madison and Post Falls went at it for four physical quarters.
The Bobcats wouldn’t have it any other way. Led by seniors Mason McWhorter and Spencer Hathaway, Madison powered its way to a 65-48 victory and a spot in the 5A state championship game. McWhorter scored 21 points and Hathaway added 19 for the Bobcats (25-3) who take on Borah (23-3) for the title at 8 p.m. Saturday.
“It was a battle,” Madison coach Travis Schwab said. “We thought we could take it at them offensively, and it worked out for us. And we really got after it defensively, especially in the second half.”
In a game that featured 45 personal fouls, Madison grabbed the upper hand early. With McWhorter and Hathaway in attack mode, Post Falls lost its top two players—Colby Gennett and Gavven Desjarlais—to first-quarter foul trouble. McWhorter racked up 15 first-half points—including a 9 of 9 effort from the foul line—as the Bobcats did most of their damage on drives to the hoop.
“Mason and I had a good chat this morning,” Schwab said. “I told him to be himself and trust himself. Once he got going with some free throws, he was off. I’m really proud of him leading the charge for us.”
Still, a resilient Post Falls quad managed to stay within striking distance. After Madison’s Carson Downey beat the halftime buzzer with a backdoor layup, the Bobcats took a 28-24 lead into the break.
But Madison cranked things up another notch in the second half, and the Trojans couldn’t match it. A back-and-forth third quarter ended with Madison leading 41-34, but the Bobcats erupted for 24 points in the final quarter to pull away for good.
Jaden Schwab chipped in 11 points for the Bobcats, including a dagger 3-pointer with just under 3 minutes remaining that kicked off a celebration by a large contingent of Madison fans.
“In the second half, we had our jitters out and we really came out and locked in,” McWhorter said. “Our experience showed.”
Sophomore guard Alex Horning led the Trojans (18-7) with 17 points before fouling out. Gennett was held to just four points, with his lone field goal coming on a vicious dunk in the final minute.
Madison finished the game shooting 56 percent from the floor while making 26 of 35 free throws. Post Falls shot just 33 percent, including 27 percent after halftime.