By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Indians simply could not find a way to handle Woodford County’s Eli Boggess in the first half Saturday in Richmond.
At halftime, the senior guard had 24 points and had led the Yellow Jackets to a 37-33 lead.
That’s when Madison Central made an adjustment.
The Indians went to a 2-2-1 zone, and that change made a big difference.
Boggess scored just eight points in the second half, none in the fourth quarter, as Madison Central rallied for a 69-66 victory at home.
Sam Jones led the Indians (12-3) with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Cameron Thomas added 17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
“It took him out of the game,” Feldhaus said of the switch to the zone. “It totally took him out of the game. We wanted to make some of those others guys beat us. For the most part, it saved us. That defense has saved us quite a few times this year.”
Central trailed by 10 points in the third quarter and went into the final period trailing by seven (54-47).
Coty Alexander hit a three-pointer and later Jones converted a three-point play to give Central its first lead of the half (59-58).
Woodford answered back, taking a 63-60 lead with just more than two minutes left. The Indians got a putback from Demarcus George, then Kirk Humphrey came up with a basket that put the Indians back in front for good.
Humphrey hit three-of-four free throws in the final minute and also had an assist on a basket by Jones.
“I like Kirk on that free throw line at the end of the game,” Feldhaus said. “Him and Coty. That’s who we want on the line at the end.”
In addition to the switch to the zone, the biggest difference in the second half was on the boards. The teams both had 20 rebounds in the first half. In the second half, the Indians out-rebound Woodford County 31-15.
“We killed them on the boards and that’s pretty much been our mainstay all year,” Feldhaus said.
Central was just three-of-15 from the three-point line, with all those coming from Alexander, who finished with 12 points.
The Indians also shot just 40 percent for the game, hit 18-of-30 free throws and had 11 turnovers.
Boggess finished with 34 points on nine-of-18 shooting, including four-of-nine from three-point range. He also had six assists and five rebounds.
“They found a way to win,” Feldhaus said. “They think they are supposed to win. That’s what I like about them.”
George had nine points and seven rebounds, Humphrey had seven points and four rebounds and Isaiah Johnson had three points and seven rebounds.
Central is set to return to action Tuesday at Dunbar.