Casey Schneider spent the majority of Tuesday’s loss to Tates Creek sitting on the bench.

The sophomore guard played just 10 minutes and had just one point as the Indians lost for the sixth time in their past seven games.

After that disappointing performance, Schneider was determined to make a bigger impact Thursday against Woodford County (9-10).

“I felt like I needed to come out with a purpose and play hard,” Schneider said.

Schneider scored a season-high 23 points and hit five three-pointers as Madison Central held off the Yellowjackets, 60-53, in Richmond. Dominique Hawkins added 18 points and Brenton Covington added seven points and six rebounds for the Indians (7-15).

“We just told him that we needed some consistency (from him),” Central coach Allen Feldhaus said of Schneider. “We know he can shoot. We know he can play. He’s just got to produce.”

Schneider had 16 points last week in a win over South Laurel, but didn’t contribute much to the Central offense in losses to Lincoln County and Tates Creek.

He got off to a fast start against Woodford, hitting all three of his three-point attempts in the first half. Schneider had 13 points at the half, helping the Indians take a 32-27 lead into the locker room.

“You’ve got to hit some perimeter shots (against a zone),” Feldhaus said. “You’ve got to have someone step up and hit some shots.”

The Indians were five-of-10 from three-point range in the first half against Woodford County’s zone defense.

The Yellowjackets trailed by nine points in the third quarter, but cut the deficit to just two points (41-39) at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Hawkins helped the Indians hold on to the lead with several key baskets, including a remarkable driving lay-up, which he turned into a three-point play.

The standout freshman also had a dunk on a pass from Covington in the first quarter.

“He’s got some God-given ability that the rest of our kids don’t have,” Feldhaus said of Hawkins.

Schneider hit a three-pointer mid-way through the fourth and also had a block and a reverse lay-up in the closing minutes.

Central shot just 42 percent from the field, but had just 11 turnovers and was only out-rebounded by two (36-34) against a much taller team.

Dominique Johnson led Woodford with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Jared Pyatt had seven points for Central and Nick Ford had five points and eight rebounds.

Schneider was seven-of-nine from the field and also had two assists.

“We are picking it up,” Schneider said. “We are still young, so there is plenty of room for improvement. Hopefully we will rack up a few wins in the next few games and head into the district tournament playing well.”

Central is scheduled to return to action today at home against Russell County.

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