By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Central Indians picked up their 18th consecutive 44th District title Friday with a wire-to-wire 80-40 blowout of Madison Southern.
With Quan Taylor dominating the inside and Central's perimeter players red hot from the outside, the Indians were never really threatened.
Ken-Jah Bosley (22) and Taylor (16) combined for 38 points, while Dominique Hawkins added 11 despite foul trouble all night, to lead the Indians to the dominant win.
Central scored the game's first seven points and used red-hot shooting and smothering defense to jump out to a 25-13 lead after the first quarter.
Behind seven first-half three pointers, the Indians steadily built their lead as all five starters scored in the second quarter.
Southern had to choose between packing it in to protect the middle or getting out on the perimeter shots. They chose to give up the outside shots, but the way the Indians shot the ball and the way Taylor and Hunter Stocker dominated inside, it didn’t matter.
“We were more athletic than them and had a little bit more size than them and you’ve got to pick your poison. I understand their philosophy, you’ve got to hope we’re having one of those games where we’re not hitting those shots,” Central coach Allen Feldhaus said. “I’m just glad we were hitting those shots in this gym knowing we have to play three more in this gym.”
The game got a little chippy mid-way through the quarter after a hard foul by Central's Demarcus George, players had to be separated.
Double technical fouls were called on George and Southern's Damien Harris, as well as on Southern coach Shane Buttry for leaving the bench and coming onto the floor.
Despite being restricted to the bench in the second half, Buttry said he would do the same thing again.
“It's unfortunate what happened out there but it was just two really tough kids that got tangled up. I didn’t want something bad to happen so I go out there and they ‘T’ me up because I left the bench,” Buttry said. “I’ll do it again the next time because I don’t want kids to get hurt. They weren’t watching what was going on, so I wanted to stop it.”
After order was restored, Central went on an 8-1 run to close out the quarter and took a 41-19 lead into the half.
Dominique Hawkins and Quan Taylor scored the first 12 points — six each — for the Indians to open the second half and after a bucket by Bosley, led 55-25 with 4:17 to go in the game.
Baskets by Drew Taylor, Clayton Barnes and a three pointer by Mike Rothermel pulled Southern to within 61-32 with two minutes to go in the third, but consecutive baskets by Central’s Daniel Parke, Bosley and Sam Jones put the Indians up 67-32, bringing the running clock into play.
Both coaches emptied their benches in the fourth quarter to give some of their younger players some tournament experience.
Eight other players scored in the game for Central. Parke finished with seven points and three rebounds and had the prettiest play of the night on a lob pass to Taylor with .09 seconds left on the clock before the half.
Stocker had six points and four rebounds, Jones had four points and four rebounds, Zach Jarvis, George Walker, Cameron Thomas and Coty Alexander had three points each and George had two points.
Tyler Abshear led Southern with 13 points and four rebounds, while Rothermel added eight, Drew Taylor had seven points and seven rebounds, Spencer Stone, Chance Norris, Tanner Kidwell, Clayton Barnes and Roger Rose had two points each and Harris had one point and four rebounds.
Buttry said he was proud of the way his team played against one of the best teams in the state.
“We just played last night, but that’s not an excuse because they would have beaten us anyway because they are a top-5 team in the state and they are legit,” Buttry said. “They have a great team and I thought our guys played hard and played well, we were just outmanned.”
Both teams advance to next week’s 11th Region Tournament in McBrayer Arena.
The drawing for tournament pairings will be held today at Alumni Coliseum.