Register Staff Report
Madison Central opened play in the Berea Holiday Classic with a 79-65 win over Bourbon County Thursday.
The Indians played well in the first half, building a 19-11 lead after the first quarter, then extending it to 20 points, 44-24 at the half.
The second half was a much different story as the game turned into a raggedly played foul-fest.
The two teams combined to shoot 43 free throws in the second half.
Unfortunately for Central, the Indians weren’t very productive a the stripe, shooting 11-of-22 in the half and only 21-of-40 for 52 percent for the game.
Meanwhile the Colonels, who only shot six free throws in the first half and hit half those, were red hot from the line in the second half, hitting 17-of-21.
Bourbon rode that hot free throw shooting and its pressure defense that forced the Indians into numerous turnovers to climb back into the game.
The Colonels cut the Central lead down to 15, 63-48 at the end of the third quarter.
A five-point spurt mid-way through the fourth quarter got Bourbon to within 11 at 68-57 and the Colonels seemed to have all the momentum as their full-court press was causing all kinds of problems for the Indians.
That’s when senior point guard Coty Alexander came to the rescue, coming off the bench to nail a big three pointer to extend the lead out to 71-57 with 4:29 remaining.
His presence seemed to calm the storm and from that point the Indians began to play much better defense down the stretch.
Baskets by Alexander and Demarcus George with just more than two minutes to go gave the Indians a 76-63 lead and they shut down the Colonels the rest of the way.
Central coach Allen Feldhaus wasn’t very pleased with his team’s effort in the second half.
“It was ugly. It was one of those games where you get a big lead and you’re just wanting to get the game over with. That’s what it looked like to me,” he said. “Miss a lot of free throws, throw the ball away all over the place. It was ugly. It was a win. But play like that against somebody good and it won’t be a win. I promise you.”
Alexander led the way for the Indians with a game-high 22 points. Demarcus George and Sam Jones both had double-doubles in the contest. George finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Jones had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Cameron Thomas finished with eight points, five rebounds and six assists, Isaiah Johnson had six points, Kirk Humphrey had five points, four rebounds and six assists, John Williams and Seth Richardson had four points each and Ross Ramsey added one point and five rebounds.
Central will take on Somerset at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the winner’s bracket.
Powell County 73, Berea 56
Berea Community dropped its opener in the Berea Holiday Classic Thursday, 73-56, to Powell County.
The Powell County Pirates jumped out to 16-8 lead the end of the first quarter and extended its lead to 31-12 in the second quarter before Berea began to get its offense on track.
Bradley Atkins and Trey Terrill jump-started a 13-4 run by Berea with five quick points to get back within striking distance.
Back-to-back baskets by Caleb Goss and a three pointer by Jarel Tevis got Berea to within 39-28 at the half.
In the second half, Berea continued to fight its way back into the game, finally pulling to within five points midway through the third quarter.
But two big turnovers resulted in points in transition for Powell County and Berea could never get any closer.
“Every time we would come back they hit a big shot. We cut the lead down to five midway through the third quarter, but we threw a couple of turnovers and we just couldn’t recover,” Berea coach Cameron Jackson said. “You’re never proud of a 17-point loss, but I’m proud of these boys. Last year we get down like that we would drop our heads. This year we’re more mature and we had a little bit of fight in us.”
Terrill led Berea with a double-double, 19 points and 10 rebounds. Atkins also finished in double figures with 10 points. Dustin Kates had nine points, while Shyiem Alexander had seven points, Caleb Goss came off the bench to score six points and Jarel Tevis finished with five points.
Berea will take on Eminence at noon Saturday in the loser’s bracket.