DENVILLE, NJ - Madison did not want to have what happened last time against Morris Catholic.
The Dodgers eventually survived a battle against the Crusaders in a 55-53 decision in December, so in the second game between the two teams, Madison was looking to take the lead and not give it back on Tuesday night at Morris Catholic.
The Dodgers jumped out to an 18-6 lead and maintained a double-digit lead for most of the game en route to a 53-36 victory over the Crusaders in a Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference battle. Madison raised its record to 14-2.
The win was also the team's fifth in a row after suffering the lone losses of the season to Chatham and Morristown-Beard a couple of weeks ago in back-to-back contests.
Junior center Sean Haughey led a balanced attack for Madison with a dozen points while Cameron Dias and Nick Evangelista registered 10 and nine points respectively.
"I think our greatest asset is that we have five guys who can score on the floor," said Haughey about the team.
Evangelista saw more time than usual after one of the Dodgers starters and top scorers, Matthew Gilbert, left the game with a left ankle injury with four minutes left in the second quarter.
"I think we did not let it get into our head," said Haughey about not having Gilbert on the floor. "He's a key player and Nick came in and did a great job."
In addition to the scoring, the Madison defense was on cue Tuesday night especially stopping Morris Catholic's top scorer, Darius Osorio-Vega, who only scored six points for the game.
Both Justin Goodwin and Jamal St. Germain were able to contain Osorio-Vega for most of the game.
The closest that Morris Catholic got to the Dodgers came with five minutes to go in the second quarter when Madison saw its lead trimmed to eight, 24-16.
Evangelista went on a run late in the second quarter as the Dodgers took a 33-20 lead at halftime. "Our coach (Madison head coach Bill Librera) told us that this game is far from over," said Haughey about the talk at halftime.
A Haughey three-point bucket in the left corner put the Dodgers ahead by 15, 42-27 with a minute left in the third quarter.
While Madison scoring was at a minimum in the fourth quarter, the Dodgers defense was able to befuddle the Morris Catholic offense.
Madison travels to Hanover Park on Thursday at 7 p.m. while hosting Morristown on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Morris County Tournament. The Dodgers are the fifth seed and Morristown is the 12th seed. "We know they have a solid team and it won't be easy," said Haughey as the team saw Morristown play in the tournament against Morris Catholic.
Madison boys basketball schedule
(Games at 7 p.m. unless noted)
Feb. 2: at Hanover Park
Feb. 4: Morristown, 5 p.m., Morris County Tournament
Feb. 7: American History, 4 p.m.
Feb. 9: Chatham
Feb. 11: Morris County Tournament, TBD, Randolph
Feb. 13: at Boonton
Feb. 15: at Dover
Feb. 21: at Morristown