JACKSONVILLE — After two painful sectional playoff losses the last two seasons, Madison High senior Marquis Borney was not going to settle for anything less than a trip to the 1A state finals in Peoria.
Borney got his wish, nailing a huge 3-pointer with just under 3 minutes remaining Tuesday and scoring 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as Madison held off Payson-Seymour 66-60 at the Jacksonville Super-Sectional.
"I just had to wake myself up," said Borney, who had cooled a bit after scoring Madison's first eight points of the night. "I couldn't let them stop me from being aggressive and making plays for my team because this could have been my last game.
"This is what we dreamed of, this is what we talked about. Everybody in the city of Madison, all the boys on the court, wanted to go to state. This is our dream right here."
Madison (20-10) will face the winner of Wednesday's DeKalb Super-Sectional --either Lanark Eastland or Newark -- in the 1A semifinals at 12:15 p.m. Friday.
Madison finished third in 2010 and has two previous state championships.
The Trojans missed seven of its 12 free throws in the fourth quarter, with Borney missing four of six. But after the Indians (27-5) crept within three points, Borney found much better luck from long range as he sank a crucial 3-pointer from the top of the key and followed that up with another shot to push Madison's lead to five.
"He's been doing it for us all year, so why not now?" Madison coach Jaime Cotto said of Borney, who averages 21 points. "I'm just so proud of him. He came a long way, he really did. He deserves, it, this group deserves it. We're just a hard-working group, were not super-super talented. We just work hard and we stick together as a family."
Madison's relentless offensive rebounding was a big factor as the Trojans repeatedly worked to get second and third opportunities at the rim.
"It's like I always tell people ... in 1A I don't think anybody can rebound with us," Cotto said. "I still don't."
DiJon Bryant was also big for Madison in the fourth quarter, scoring seven of his nine points to help his team hold off a furious charge by the Indians.
Madison watched a nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter evaporate to two on a 3-pointer by Jake Voss with 54 seconds remaining. The Indians had the ball with a chance to tie following a missed free throw, but turned it over and Borney twice hit one of two free throws to ice it.
Madison was 7-for-9 from the floor in the third quarter and 14-of-19 in the second half.
"Defensively the second quarter was absolutely horrible, we gave up 22 points," Cotto said. "But I think it was our staples that got us there, our defense and our rebounding."
Payson got 21 points from junior guard Cody Hildebrand, but 14 of those came in the first half. Voss hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep his team close, finishing with 20 points, but the Indians could not stop the Trojans at the defensive end.
"It came down to they had too many offensive rebounds and 50-50 balls and (our) missed free throws," said Payson coach Brian Rea, whose team sank just five of 13 free-throw attempts. "I wish them the best of luck, but we're just as good a team as that. We just made some critical mistakes at the wrong time."
With starters Borney and Deontay Starnes on the bench in foul trouble late in the third quarter, Madison's Quincy Ware made a quick impact on the game.
Ware scored six points and sent the Trojans into the fourth quarter with a 46-42 lead.
"Quincy Ware was huge off the bench at the end of the third quarter," Cotto said.
Borney and Starnes combined for 15 of the Trojans' 17 points in the opening quarter.
Madison pushed its lead to 18-11 midway through the first half, only to watch the Indians climb right back in the game by hitting 10-of-13 shots in the second quarter.
Payson had runs of 7-0 and 14-3 to gain control, included a 3-pointer by Voss and hot shooting by Hildebrand. That woke up the Indians' large fan base, which included roughly 85 percent of those in attendance at the historic Jacksonville Bowl.
That large crowd made plenty of noise each time the Indians made a play, but the Trojans and their fans were the ones celebrating and taking pictures on the court after the victory.
"They had a nice crowd," Cotto said. "They had good fan support, but in the long run it's the 10 on the court that have to decide it, not the fans."
Voss hit a short jumper with three seconds remaining in the first half to put his team on top 33-31 at halftime. Payson sank just four of 12 shots after nailing 10-of-13 in the previous quarter.