Action was stopped for a timeout and Madison East boys basketball coach Matt Miota drew up a play.

The host Purgolders’ lead against visiting Madison Memorial was at two with 7 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the game between the undefeated Big Eight Conference leaders Tuesday night.

Miota wanted the ball to get to 6-foot-3 junior wing Anthony Washington, posted up on the right block.

After the ball was inbounded, Washington received a pass, spun and, despite being off-balance, scooped in the basket at 7:26 — increasing the margin to four and beginning a decisive 13-0 run over the next 4:46.

Washington, who had 13 of his game-high 18 points in the second half, led East to a 66-49 victory that kept the Purgolders (5-0 overall, 3-0 Big Eight) in a first-place tie with Janesville Craig.

“(Miota) called a play for me,” Washington said. “I got the ball on the block and he told me to go up and get a bucket. And that’s what I did. That got our energy pumped up and it also got the crowd hyped.”

The Purgolders outscored the Spartans 21-6 after junior forward Kwan Lewis’ putback rallied Memorial (2-1, 2-1) within 45-43 with 7:40 left. That was just prior to the basket by Washington, who said he’s receiving interest from colleges, including Marquette, UW-Milwaukee, Colorado State, South Dakota and North Dakota.

“We needed a basket and he’s one of our guys we look to,” Miota said. “He got the ball on the block and that was a big basket at that time.”

Spartans senior guard Cade Ellingson had a team-high 16 points, but none of his teammates reached double figures in scoring.

The result thwarted Memorial coach Steve Collins’ bid to earn his 400th victory, which 1985 Madison East graduate Collins said would have been memorable had it come Tuesday at his alma mater’s gym.

“It’s a game of spurts and they had some really big ones that we were not able to counter,” said Collins, whose team was ranked sixth in Division 1 in the poll. “They are a very, very good basketball team. If you don’t stop their spurts you will have issues. … You have to make their runs shorter and make your long runs longer.”

Three other Purgolders scored in double figures — senior guard Damontae Thompson (13), sophomore forward Jevan Boyton (12) and junior guard Jadyn Walsvick (10).

The 5-11 Walsvick came off the bench and was instrumental in East’s 10-0 run in the final 4:17 of the first half, which sent the Purgolders into halftime leading 31-22. Walsvick sank a 3-pointer, then came up with a steal and layin to give East a 30-22 lead.

“That’s what he does,” Washington said about Walsvick. “He hits big shots.”

Memorial didn’t score for the final 5:10 of the first half after a Lewis putback gave the Spartans a 22-21 lead.

The Spartans went on a 13-1 run in the second half, wiping out an 11-point deficit and grabbing a 38-37 lead. But Washington and Walsvick responded with 3-pointers as East regained the lead at 43-38.

“They rebound so well and they get to the rim,” Collins said. “They are able to finish and get to the rim really well. They are so long athletically. We weren’t able to get looks at the basket that we are used to.”

All of East’s victories this season have been by double digits.

“I’m very pleased,” Miota said. “It’s still early and we still have a lot of work to do. And considering that two of our more experienced guys didn’t do a lot tonight (due to foul trouble) — Marcus (Justice) and Keonte (Jones) — it was a pretty good win.”

Madison Memorial 22 27 — 49

Madison East 31 35 — 66

MADISON MEMORIAL — Bates 1 0-2 3, Lewis 3 0-2 7, Brown 1 4-5 6, Ellingson 4 6-8 16, Jackson 2 0-1 5, Caropreso 1 2-2 5, Schaefer 1 0-0 3, Mitchell 1 1-2 3, Yu 0 1-2 1, Bergman 0 0-0 0, Younk 0 0-0 0, D. Collins 0 0-0 0, Kerkhoff 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 14-24 49.

MADISON EAST — Jones 1 6-8 8, Walsvick 4 0-0 10, Washington 6 5-7 18, McKinley 1 0-0 2, Thompson 3 5-10 13, Boyton 5 2-6 12, Fadele 1 0-0 2, Justice 0 1-2 1, Neubauer 0 0-0 0, McIntosh 0 0-0 0, Baumann 0 0-0 0, Tupta 0 0-0 0, Devitt 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 19-33 66.

3-pointers — MM 7 (Ellingson 2, Bates 1, Lewis 1, Jackson 1, Caropreso 1, Schaefer 1); ME 5 (Walsvick 2, Thompson 2, Washington 1). Total fouls — MM 22, ME 19.


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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.