By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
Madison Central fell to Montgomery County for the second time in nine days on Sunday, 67-47 in the championship game of the Berea Holiday Classic.
It was the same story as in their previous loss to Montgomery — missed free throws and turnovers proved too much for the Indians to overcome.
Central (8-2) out-rebounded Montgomery by 17, 43-26, but shot only 11-of-23 from the free throw line and threw the ball away 23 times to only eight for Montgomery County.
Those were the two major factors in the deciding stretch of the game’s final five minutes.
Demarcus George hit one-of-two free throws with 4:43 remaining to pull Central to within six points (52-46).
But, three-consecutive Central turnovers and three missed free throws fueled a 15-0 Montgomery run over the next 2:30 seconds to put the Indians on top 67-46 and put the game away.
“We lost because of two things. We can’t hit a free throw and we struggle with pressure,” Central coach Allen Feldhaus said. “They have a really good point guard who has the ball in his hand a lot and only commits one turnover. We’re trying to teach a sophomore to be a point guard and he has a nightmare game, nine turnovers. It’s a good learning experience for him.”
Central led 8-7 mid-way through the first quarter on a basket by Ross Ramsey, but Montgomery regained the lead and took a 15-13 lead after the first quarter.
Central hung tough and tied the game at 19 on a steal and layup by Cameron Thomas with four minutes remaining in the half.
Montgomery re-took the lead, but thanks to its dominance of the backboards, Central only trailed 28-21 at the half, despite hitting only 5-of-13 free throws and turning the ball over 10 times.
Montgomery extended its lead to 11 at 32-21 to open the second half.
But after a timeout, Central got four quick baskets by Demarcus George, Kirk Humphrey, Isaiah Johnson and Sam Jones to pull within 32-29 with just more than three minutes to go in the quarter.
But that was as close as the Indians could get as Montgomery County answered both times Central got to within six points the rest of the way.
George led the way for Central with 12 points and five rebounds. Jones added 11 points and had another monster game on the glass, pulling down 18 rebounds. Humphrey added 10 points, while Ramsey and Coty Alexander had four points each, Johnson had three points, Cameron Thomas had two points and Seth Richardson added one point.
Central will be back in action on Friday when they take on Worthington Kilborne (Ohio) in the Gateway Classic in Mount Sterling.