By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Central Lady Indians were oh so close to pulling the upset of 12th Region leader Lincoln County on Friday in Richmond.
Behind senior Shadae Bosley’s triple-double — 17 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocked shots — Central had come back from a five-point deficit to take a 53-52 lead with only 40 seconds left in regulation.
Senior Bailey O’Bryan hit one-of-two free throws to put the Lady Indians up 56-52 with 19.6 seconds remaining.
After Lincoln’s Kelsi Honaker got the Patriots to within two at 56-54 with two free throws, Bailey once again went one-of-two from the charity stripe to make it 57-54 with only eight ticks left on the clock.
But Patriots junior Spencer Simms drilled a 25-foot three-pointer with only five seconds on the clock to tie the game at 57 and send it into overtime.
In the overtime period, the Lady Patriots quickly scored the first five points and aided by 2-of-6 free throw shooting by the Lady Indians down the stretch, pulled away for a 70-63 win.
Friday’s effort was a far cry from the one the Lady Indians had one day earlier in 59-37 loss at Montgomery County in which they had 21 turnovers against the press.
Central coach Robbie Cooksey said he couldn’t be prouder of the way his team bounced back and played against the Lady Patriots.
“I’m really, really happy with the way they played. We just turned the ball over and didn’t do a few things at inopportune times and it came back to bite us. But our kids played really, really well. I was tickled to death with our effort,” Cooksey said. “We handled the pressure much better tonight than we did last night. We were down five or six points at one point in the second half and we battled back. I’m proud of my kids’ effort.”
The Lady Indians played well early and took a 13-8 lead on a driving layup by O’Bryan and a shot by Bosley with 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
But Bosley picked up her second foul on the next possession and had to go to the bench where she joined starter Raevin Cain, who got two fouls in the first two minutes.
With Bosley out, the Lady Patriots scored the final six points to take a 14-13 advantage after one quarter.
With their best player on the bench for the entire second quarter, things could very easily have gotten out of hand quickly for the Lady Patriots.
But that didn’t happen because the Central bench came in and performed very well.
Lincoln County pushed the lead out to 19-13 but Central quickly answered back, going on a 6-2 run on baskets by Kenadee Everly, Lindsay Johns and Kasi Schneid to get to within two at 21-19.
Emily Fultz once again pulled Central to within two with a basket with two minutes remaining in the half. Then after two free throws by Lincoln’s Tiandra Hocker, O’Bryan had a basket and Emily Willoughby hit a free throw with 31 seconds remaining to cut the margin to 25-24 at the half.
“Our bench came in and played so well. We could have easily gotten blown out there. But I thought every kid who came in did something really positive, which is a good sign moving forward,” Cooksey said.
It didn’t take Bosley long to make her presence felt when she returned to the floor in the second half.
She picked up a blocked shot on Lincoln’s first possession of the third quarter, then had an old fashioned three-point play at the other end to get Central even at 27.
After the Lady Patriots went back up by four at 37-33, Bosley had back-to-back baskets to once again get Central even at 37.
Lincoln County pushed the lead back out to 44-38 by the end of the quarter, but Central refused to quit.
Bosley and Johns combined for six straight points to begin the fourth quarter to once again bring Central even at 44-44.
From that point the lead changed hands six times in regulation, the last on Honaker’s last second three to send it into overtime.
The Lady Patriots could not contain Bosley on either end of the floor as she scored at will when she got the ball down low on the offensive end.
On defense, she dominated the paint, not allowing Lincoln County to get any shots off within 10 feet of the basket.
Cooksey said it is what he has come to expect from his senior star.
“Shadae played extremely well tonight, but she’s been there every night for us,” Cooksey said. “She kind of got in a little foul trouble but that just happens. But she came back in there in the second half and didn’t let it affect her play at all.”
On the night, nine players scored for the Lady Indians.
O’Bryan finished with 15 points, four rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, while Johns added 14 points, eight rebounds, one assist, one blocked shot and two steals.
Schneid had seven points, Haley Christian had three points, Cain, Fultz, and Everly added two points apiece and Willoughby had one point.
Central returns to action today when they travel to Lexington to take on Henry Clay.