By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Central Lady Indians simply gave Lafayette (18-2) too many easy opportunities Monday in a 57-34 loss in Richmond.
The Lady Indians (12-11) committed 16 turnovers in the first half — 26 for the game — and fell behind early and never recovered.
Central fell behind 15-7 at the end of the first quarter, and despite back-to-back three pointers by Kasi Schneid and Bailey O’Bryan early in the second quarter, Lafayette extended its lead to 37-21 at the half.
O’Bryan scored the first five points of the second half to pull the Lady Indians within 11, 37-26, but turnovers and poor shooting — 15.8 percent — kept them from getting any closer the rest of the way.
“I think Lafayette is the best team in the region. But 26 turnovers didn’t help us. We’ve got to take care of the ball better,” Central coach Robbie Cooksey said. “We shot 42 percent in the first half, then came out and shot 15 percent in the second. That’s the tell-tell sign right there.”
O’Bryan was the only Lady Indian in double figures on the night with 11 points. Lyndsey Johns added six points, Schneid and Shadae Bosley had five points each, Raevin Cain had four points and Haley Christian had three points.
While the Central offense struggled much of the night, the Lady Indians’ full-court press caused Lafayette plenty of problems.
Central forced the Lady Generals into 21 turnovers in the game, the problem was they just couldn’t capitalize on most of them because of the poor shooting.
“We turned them over 21 times but we didn’t score off of it,” Cooksey said.
The Lady Indians were 11-of-38, 28.9 percent, from the field in the game and 4-of-12, 33.3 percent from behind the three-point line.
Lafayette shot 20-of-48, 41.7 percent from the field and 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line.
The Lady Generals held a decided height advantage over Central and out-rebounded the Lady Indians 37-22.
Despite the large deficit much of the night, the Lady Indians continued to battle until the final horn, something Cooksey said he was very pleased with.
“I was really happy. We got down then in the second half we came out and got five-straight points, The kids played extremely hard,” Cooksey said. “I was very happy, the kids didn’t lay down, they didn’t quit, they kept playing. That continued effort is a positive sign.”
Despite the loss, Cooksey said he thinks his team can rebound and get better before the district tournament rolls around in a few weeks.
“We’ve got to shoot better. That’s what it boils down to. We’ve got to take care of the ball better. We’ve just got to continue to work hard on our offense and our shooting and hopefully some good things will happen for us,” he said.