The Lady Indians struggled badly with turnovers and free throw shooting at times this season.

Those problems once again had a big impact on the outcome of a game -- this time at the most meaningful moment.

Madison Central had 21 turnovers and hit just 7-of-19 attempts at the line in a 59-44 loss to Great Crossing on Monday at home in the opening round of the 11th Region Tournament.

Junior Braylee McMath had a game-high 25 points and nine steals as the Lady Warhawks set up a cross-county showdown with Scott County in the semifinals.

Jekauri McKeithen had another double-double (11 points and 15 rebounds) in her final high school game, while senior Taleya Todd had 13 points for Central (13-18).

"They got almost half their points off our turnovers," Madison Central coach Brad Lovely said. "That will get you beat about every night."

Great Crossing (16-15) got 26 points off turnovers, had 30 points in the paint and added 12 fast-break points.

The Lady Warhawks had 13 steals.

Timothi Williams had 11 points and six rebounds. Ava Schureman had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Rachel Smith added four points.

"They are a good team," Lovely said. "They are young and they are a match-up nightmare with McMath, Williams and Smith. They've got three kids who can handle the ball and they all shoot it well."

Great Crossing shot just 37.9 percent from the field, connected on 5-of-16 three-point attempts and hit 10-of-15 free throws.

Central came into the game shooting just 53 percent from the line on the season. The Lady Indians, however, hit 21-of-29 free throws in the 44th District title game against Berea last week.

On Monday, Central hit 4-of-6 attempts in the first quarter, then went 3-of-13 for the rest of the game.

"I think a lot of it was pressure," Lovely said. "They didn't want to miss."

The Lady Warhawks had an 11-8 lead after the first quarter, but Central battled back to take a 20-19 lead on a putback off a missed free throw by Eve Carter.

The game was tied 23-23 before Great Crossing scored the final six points of the half, including a basket just before the buzzer.

"I think they scored at the end of every quarter," Lovely said. "They had a lay-up with two seconds left before halftime. That breaks your back."

The Lady Warhawks scored the first five points of the third quarter to push the lead to double-digits for the first time.

Central shot 25 percent from the field in the third quarter and was out-scored 14-7.

McKeithen went over 1,000 rebounds for her career in the district title game. The senior forward added to that total on Monday, including seven offensive boards.

"She's going to play in college," Lovely said of McKeithen. "She's got a motor like no other. I'm excited for her. She's going to do well in college."

Carter finished with nine points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Nataya Strader had four points and three rebounds.

Brianna Bierbaum had three points. Gretchen Hammitt had two points and six rebounds, while Alena Alleruzzo had two points.

The Lady Indians were 10-23 last season and lost in the district title game to Madison Southern, then suffered a 43-point loss to Franklin County in the 11th Region Tournament.

This year, they reclaimed the district championship even though they were picked to finish fourth in one preseason publication.

"We always say, 'Leave it better than you found it.' We left it better than we found it," Lovely said. "We proved a lot of people wrong. I think a lot of people will take notice of us next year."

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