By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Emotionally and physically drained, Quan Taylor sat quietly at the end of the Madison Central bench Tuesday with his head in his hands as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
After the final horn sounded on a 78-63 win over 11th Region rival Henry Clay, the 6-foot-4 senior forward went into the locker room and threw up.
“I was just really excited, I guess” Taylor said.
Taylor had plenty to be excited about.
The senior turned in an absolutely stunning performance as the No. 3 Indians defeated No. 6 Henry Clay (18-5). Taylor finished with 14 points, 24 rebounds and four blocks as Central (18-3) stretched its winning streak to nine games.
Senior point guard Dominique Hawkins had 26 points and 10 rebounds and senior guard Ken-Jah Bosley had 20 points for the Indians.
“It was a good effort from the entire team,” Central coach Allen Feldhaus said. “Quan had a very dominating performance. It was everybody, though, not just Quan.”
Central had just a two-point lead (29-27) at halftime of a battle of the two of the top teams in the 11th Region.
Hunter Stocker and Daniel Parke hit three pointers for Central early in the third, but heading into the fourth quarter, Central had just a 48-45 lead.
Hawkins led the charge as the Indians pulled away in the fourth. The senior had 10 points in the final period. Central put together an 8-0 run and Taylor pushed the lead to 11 points with back-to-back baskets later in the fourth.
“I said, ‘Dominique, take over,’” Feldhaus said. “That’s what a point guard is supposed to do.”
Central shot 59 percent from the field in the second half and was 12-of-16 from the free throw line.
Taylor capped the win in style, throwing down a pair of big dunks.
“Oh yeah, I think we definitely (sent a message),” Taylor said. “I’m just ready to kick some butt in the 11th Region.”
Taylor had 11 rebounds in the first half. He had 13 offensive rebounds for the game, which allowed Central to score 17 second-chance points.
The senior logged 31:31 of playing time and only come off the court in the final seconds when the outcome had already been decided.
“That was impressive,” Feldhaus said. “Just watching him go up and get those rebounds.”
Central got into serious foul trouble in the first half. Three Indians, including two starters, Stocker and Parke, had two fouls and the Indians had to go their bench.
DeMarcus George scored four points and had two rebounds and Sam Jones had two rebounds in four minutes of action in the first half.
“All the role players did their role,” Feldhaus said. “DeMarcus came in and did a great job. Stocker hit some open shots. We know what Daniel is going to give us.”
Central shot just 39 percent for the game, but forced 14 turnovers and limited the Blue Devils to 37 percent shooting.
The Indians are not scheduled to meet again during the regular season, but the teams certainly could meet again — in the 11th Region Tournament.
“This game doesn’t mean anything,” Feldhaus said. “The next time we play them, that’s when it will mean something.”
Bosley was honored prior to the game for scoring his 1,000th career point. The senior passed the milestone Saturday in the Indians’ 85-72 win over Fleming County in Mt. Sterling.
Central is set to return to action Friday at No. 4 Trinity.