By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Central Indians like to keep things interesting.
Three days after defeating John Hardin in triple overtime, the Indians pulled out another extra period victory Tuesday, downing Clark County 71-67 in double overtime. It was Central’s 16th consecutive win, dating back to last season.
“We’ll have 20 overtimes by the end of the year at this rate,” Indians coach Allen Feldhaus said. “We’ve got perimeter players who have never been in that situation at the end of games before. They are very inexperienced, but they are going to get it in a hurry if we have many more games like this constantly.”
Coty Alexander gave the Indians a seemingly comfortable 69-63 lead with 32 second left in the second overtime.
But GRC’s Khmarkis Blanton cut the deficit to 69-66 with a contested three pointer eight seconds later.
Alexander misfired on two free throws with 17 seconds remaining, but Isaiah Johnson came up with a huge rebound and bucket to give the Indians a 71-66 lead with 11 seconds to go.
Jerryd Jones was fouled on a three pointer with 4.3 seconds to go for GRC, but missed the third one and Sam Jones pulled down the rebound and time expired.
Both teams had opportunities to seize control of the game in both overtimes, but turnovers and missed shots allowed the other team to get back in it.
“We had so many opportunities to win the game and we just kept giving them opportunities to win the basketball game,” Feldhaus said. “Coty has a calming effect on us. He wants the ball and we want him to take those free throws at the end. Our other perimeter players will get better. We’ll figure it out. But, we’re 4-0 and they can’t take that away.”
The game was very close in the first half.
GRC jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead only to see the Indians storm back and go on an 8-0 run to go on top 15-10.
Central was up 19-15 after one quarter, but that’s when Blanton began to exert himself in the middle, which opened up the outside for GRC’s shooters.
The Cardinals regained the lead on back-to-back threes by Braxton Green and Damion King three minutes into the quarter.
Central answered once again, getting a basket by Ross Ramsey and a bucket and two free throws by Demarcus George to go up 28-23, only to see GRC score the final four points of the quarter to cut it to 30-27 at the half.
The third quarter belonged to the big men as Sam Jones and Demarcus George dominated for the Indians, combining for 13 points in the quarter.
Jones scored Central’s first six points to extend the lead to 36-29, then George found room inside for five points and the Indians had their largest lead at 49-35 with 33.6 seconds remaining.
Both big guys finished with 20 points in the game. Jones pulled down 17 rebounds on the night, while George finished with 11.
“Sam and Demarcus both ended up with double-doubles. Our post guys have been great every game,” Feldhaus said. “They really did a good job for us inside.”
The Cardinals cut it to 49-38 before the quarter ended, then Blanton went to war inside and single-handedly brought the Cardinals back in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals center poured in 15 points in the quarter to help GRC tie the game at 55 and send it into the first overtime.
The Indians out-rebounded the Cardinals on the night 48-37. Central shot 49.2 percent from the field and were 0-of-6 from the three point line.
GRC shot 41.5 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from behind the arc.
GRC was 7-of-19 from the free-throw line, while Central finished 11-of-21 from the stripe.
Cameron Thomas was the only other Indian to reach double figures with 13. He also dished out six assists, had three steals and four rebounds.
Johnson finished with five points, while Ross Ramsey and Kirk Humphrey added four points each, Alexander had three points and John Williams had one basket.
Blanton led all scorers in the game with 35 points. He also pulled down three rebounds for the Cardinals.
The Indians return to action on Friday when they take on host Montgomery County.