By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Central Indians raced out to a big first half lead, then had to hang on at the end to hold off a pesky Lincoln County team Friday, 55-46, in Richmond.
The Indians scored the first eight points of the game and were up 31-11 after two free throws by Ken-Jah Bosley with 1:02 left in the first half and seemed to be cruising toward an easy win.
But, the Patriots had other ideas and quickly cut into the lead, scoring the final seven points of the half, the last three on a buzzer-beating three pointer from beyond mid-court, to make it 31-18 at the half.
In the third quarter, Lincoln County turned up its defense and became much more physical, especially on the inside, forcing Central to miss several closely contested shots in the paint inside the first three minutes of the quarter.
After two Bosley free throws with 2:56 to go in the quarter extended the Indians’ lead to 39-25, the Patriots then scored the final seven points of the quarter and the first four of the fourth quarter to claw to within four points at 39-35.
But after a timeout by Central coach Allen Feldhaus, Central got three quick points on a short jumper by Bosley and a free throw from Quan Taylor to extend the lead to 42-35 with just under five minutes to go.
The Indians spent most of the final five minutes on the free throw line, but six missed free throws over that span kept them from pulling away until the final couple of minutes.
Feldhaus said his team got careless after building the big lead and let Lincoln get some confidence.
“We missed some shots there in the third quarter that you’ve got to hit and we missed some free throws and let them hang around. You let them hang around it builds their confidence. Finally there in the fourth quarter we got some of our wing players where we could get it in the middle and get some easy looks,” Feldhaus said. “I was telling my guys that it is a prime example of an average team with a really good point guard, a ball controlling point guard, can keep a team like that in the game.”
Bosley led Central with a game-high 19 points and scored all eight of Central’s third quarter points. Dominique Hawkins had 17 points, 10 of which came in the first half, while Quan Taylor added 10 points.
Hunter Stocker finished with five points and Daniel Park added four points.
Feldhaus credited Lincoln County point guard Warren Taylor, who finished with 16 points and only two turnovers despite tight defense from Hawkins all night, for keeping the Patriots in the game.
“That little point guard is a nice player. Dominique had pressure on him the whole game and he didn’t get rattled and made good decisions on our double teams and he found the open man when we rotated. He’s a really nice point guard,” Feldhaus said. “We were fumbling balls and making silly passes, but it happens. But a team like that makes you play tentative at times, which we did. But we’ll take it. It’s better than the alternative.
The Indians are back in action Tuesday when they take on Tates Creek in Lexington.