Robby Todd and the other Madison Central starters — Will Hardin, Trey Skaggs, Parker Mullins and Eli Steele — knew they weren't coming off the floor on Friday against Great Crossing.
"We just had to grind it out," Todd said. "I was starting to get tired, but we just had to fight through it."
With Jaylen Davis out with an ankle injury, the Indians (9-6) really had only five varsity players available.
And they played the entire game — all 32 minutes — leading Central to a gutsy victory over a tough 11th Region rival.
Will Hardin had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Todd added 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks in a 57-45 win over the Warhawks (11-4). Trey Skaggs had six assists, five rebounds and four points, Mullins had four rebounds, three assists and three points, while Steele had four rebounds, four steals and two points.
"We were short-handed and we just went out and out-toughed them," Madison Central coach Allen Feldhaus said. "We wanted it a little bit more than they wanted it."
The Warhawks jumped out to a 10-2 lead and had a 32-25 advantage at halftime. The Indians pulled even after three quarters, then took the lead on a three-pointer by Hardin.
Central limited Great Crossing to four field goals in the second half (4-of-25 shooting). The Warhawks shot just 29.8 percent from the field for the game, including 5-of-19 from three-point range.
The Indians shot 35 percent, including 8-of-20 from long range. Central won the battle on the boards, 41-31. The Indians were 15-of-18 from the free throw line (6-of-6 by Hardin, 5-of-5 by Todd).
"That's a nice, athletic, long team. It was just a very satisfying win," Feldhaus said.
Central is set to return to action Tuesday at home against West Jessamine.
Lady Eagles win on road
Hadley French had 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Madison Southern girls basketball team picked up a hard-fought victory on the road Friday.
The Lady Eagles (10-6) battled past Fleming County, 48-45, in Flemingsburg.
Southern has won four of its past five games.
Morgan Flannery had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Macie Daniels had eight points and five rebounds. Tara Wooten and Ashlan Estep finished with six points each. Bella Moberly added four points.
Southern is set to return to action Monday at home against Henry Clay.
Lady Indians fall at Franklin County
Back on the court for the first time since Dec. 30, the Lady Indians (4-9) put up a fight, but couldn't come up with a win on the road Friday over one of the top teams in the 11th Region.
Bailey Hensley had 10 points and 10 rebounds as Madison Central fell to Franklin County (12-4), 68-49. Nataya Strader had 11 points and Brittany Campbell had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Brooke Campbell had six points for Central. Eden Carter had four points and four rebounds. Kessany Melton had three points and seven rebounds before fouling out. Lina Guerra had three points. Tiana Long had two points and two assists.
The Lady Indians shot 31 percent from the field, including 4-of-17 from three-point range. Central also hit just 7-of-16 free throw attempts.
Franklin County out-rebounded the Lady Indians, 53-37.
The Lady Flyers were up 14-9 after the first quarter, then out-scored Central 26-14 in the second quarter.
Central is set to return to action today at home against Fredrick Douglass.