By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Staff Report
When the Lady Indians turned up the defensive intensity, North Laurel simply couldn’t handle the pressure.
Madison Central forced 32 turnovers, which led to 41 points, and rolled to a 62-29 season-opening win Wednesday over the Lady Jaguars (0-2) in Richmond. Senior standout Ashton Feldhaus had a game-best 17 points and senior Larryn Brooks added 13 points as the Lady Indians shot 51 percent from the floor for the game.
“In the second half, we went to half-court traps and some quarter-court traps and that was pretty effective,” Central coach Robbie Cooksey said. “When we can do that and get some easy baskets in transition we are going to be hard to stop.”
By halftime the Lady Indians were already in control.
In the opening minutes of the second half, they turned the game into a blowout.
Central opened the third quarter on a 14-0 run and went on to out-score the Lady Jaguars 22-1 in the period. North Laurel didn’t record its first field goal of the second half until there was just 3:15 left in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Jaguars shot 10 percent from the field in the second half (2-of-20).
North Laurel had a 1-0 lead in the opening minute, but Central closed the first quarter on a 13-2 run. The Lady Indians’ lead grew to 34-13 before the Lady Jaguars put together a bit of a run.
Hannah Gray and Brooke Carpenter both hit three-pointers as North Laurel got back within 13 points.
Central led 36-22 at halftime.
“I thought our defense was pretty good in the first half with our starting five in there,” Cooksey said. “We tried to throw some kids in the there, because we’ve got to find some kids who can play.”
Central used 10 players in the first half, seven of which scored.
For a team trying to develop some depth, a season-opening blowout victory was a good opportunity to get younger players much-needed experience. Eight Lady Indians played at least 10 minutes and 10 players recorded a point or had a rebound.
“I think Raevin Cain and Aryn Singer did an excellent job in the post,” Cooksey said. “They battled. They scored. I thought our guards came in and handled the ball well.”
Heather Hinkle had nine points for Central, while Bailey O’Bryan had six points, Shadae Bosley had five points and six rebounds, Singer had six points on three-of-three shooting, while Cain, Emily Fultz and Emily Willoughby had two points each.
North Laurel was without two of its better players — Kayla Bruner and Kendall Ellington — and shot just 28 percent from the floor for the game.
Gray had a team-high 10 points for the Lady Jaguars, Hannah Lawson had eight points, Carpenter had six points, Ashley Wyatt had four points and MaKayla Sexton had one point.
Central is set to return to action Friday at Bryan Station.