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After stepping on the gas in the second half, the Madison East boys basketball team pulled away for a 62-43 victory over Middleton in the Big Eight Conference opener for both teams on Thursday night.

The Purgolders (3-0, 1-0) sputtered to a 26-22 halftime lead, but then broke loose for a 36-21 advantage in the second half to pull away.

Senior Anthony Washington scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half, 6-4 junior Marcus Justice added 12 and 6-5 sophomore Jevan Boyton scored 11.

Middleton (1-1, 0-1) got 12 points from 6-foot-5 senior forward Jake Klubertanz.

Madison La Follette 88, Madison West 70

Troy Reeves scored 20 points as the Lancers (1-0, 1-0 Big Eight) took their first win of the season with a foul-plagued victory over the Regents (1-2, 0-1).

The game saw a total of 52 fouls, as West had three players foul out and La Follette had one. The Lancers shot 20-for-23 from the free throw line in the first half, taking a 47-36 lead into the third quarter. La Follette extended the lead to 24 points in the second half.

Verona 71,

Janesville Parker 48

Senior forward Tyler Slawek scored 19 points as the Wildcats (1-1, 1-0 Big Eight) raced to a 43-27 halftime lead and put away the Vikings (0-2, 0-1).

Eight other players scored for Verona, though none reached double figures. Parker got 15 points from Brady Biba and 13 from Tremar Curry.

Janesville Craig 65,

Beloit Memorial 42

The Cougars (2-0, 1-0 Big Eight) scored at least 30 points in each half and got 15 points from Aaron Leverson to put away the Purple Knights (0-2, 0-1).

Craig seniors Jack Huml and Jacob Lynch each chipped in 10. For Beloit Memorial, 6-foot-3 senior forward Amariah Cook led the way with seven points.

Rock Valley Conference

East Troy 66, McFarland 61

McFarland forward Trevon Chislom led all players with 28 points, but the visiting Trojans (1-1, 1-0 Rock Valley Conference) beat the Spartans (2-1, 0-1). Junior guard Quinten Rollins led the Trojans with 22 points.

Jefferson 58, Whitewater 41

James Monogue had 22 points as the visiting Eagles (2-0, 1-0 Rock Valley) beat the Whippets (1-1, 0-1). Benjamin Stoll of Whitewater led his team with 11 points.

Edgerton 66, Beloit Turner 53

Crimson Tide junior Brian Rusch led his team with 13 points as Edgerton (1-1, 1-0 Rock Valley) used a 10-point second-half margin to overcome the Trojans (0-2, 0-1). Trojans guard Jordan Majeed led all players with 16 points in the loss.

Evansville 62, Clinton 29

The host Blue Devils (2-1, 1-0 Rock Valley) held a 22-16 halftime lead, but went on a 40-13 scoring run in the second half to put away the Cougars (0-1, 0-1).

The winners got 12 points from Carson Hill. Clinton got 13 from Tyler Stauss.

Non-conference

Palmyra-Eagle 70, Waterloo 60

The Panthers (2-1) used a 37-27 first half to edge out the visiting Pirates. Morgan Carpenter scored a game-high 25 points. For Waterloo (0-3), Aaron Brey had 19 points, Spencer Noel 15 and Earnest Jiles 14.

Fall River 74, Deerfield 64

Senior shooting guard Gage Nemecek and junior power forward Mathew Morton each posted 22 points as the Pirates (1-1) outscored the Demons (0-1) in the second half, 45-34. Wills Manning led Deerfield with 26 points.

Madison Country Day 62,

Albany 55

Senior guard Colin Green had 25 points as the Prairie Hawks (1-2) defeated the host Comets (0-2).

Josh Dahl finished with 15 points for Albany, which had three players foul out.

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Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.