RICHMOND — There is no panic in Madison Central.
When the going gets dicey and dire, the No. 3 Indians don't sweat it. They man-up and find a way to win.
They did it again in the 11th Region semifinals, rallying from a 56-52 deficit to beat Henry Clay 60-56 in front of a full house at Eastern Kentucky University's McBrayer Arena on Friday night.
"I believe in these guys, and they believe in each other," Coach Allen Feldhaus Jr. said. "We were down four, but I knew we could come back. We were down five with 27 seconds to go against Fairdale in the King of the Bluegrass and found a way to win."
Senior guards Dominique Hawkins and Ken-Jah Bosley combined to score the Indians' last 13 points.
Hawkins, who had 24 points, converted a three-point play to cut Henry Clay's lead to 56-55 with 1:36 left.
Then it was Bosley's turn.
He picked off a Henry Clay pass and got a run-out layup to put his team ahead 57-56.
"They kept holding the ball so I knew I had to get a steal. They threw a lazy pass and I was ready for it," said Bosley, who had 18 points.
Henry Clay had a chance to retake the lead, but Trey Grundy missed two free throws with 34 seconds left.
Hawkins made the Devils pay by cashing two foul shots to give Madison Central a 59-56 lead.
The Devils' shot at tying it came on a three try by Teddy Ware. It missed, and Madison Central senior Daniel Parke snagged the rebound.
Hawkins closed it out with two more free throws with nine seconds left.
"Ken-Jah's steal and Daniel's rebound, those were the two biggest plays," Hawkins said.
Quan Taylor, a 6-4 senior, had 10 rebounds for the Indians. Parke had six points, four rebounds and three assists.
Hawkins was the guy Feldhaus wanted with the ball down the stretch.
"He's Mr. Basketball," the Madison Central coach said. "My gosh, he just takes over the game offensively and defensively; he hits clutch shots, and makes free throws when the game's on the line."
Hawkins said he's doing it for his coach.
"I never let him down. I give 110 percent because I love my coach and I'd do anything for him."
Bosley echoed that sentiment.
"He's a tough coach, but he instills toughness in us. So when it got close, we knew we had to dig deep and get the win."
Henry Clay, which lost to the Indians 78-63 in late January, played a packed-in defense to push them to the limit in the rematch.
The Devils' juniors led them. Jordan Green had 16 points and nine rebounds. Ware hit four threes for 12 points. Grundy had seven points and seven rebounds. And point guard Christen Cunningham had eight points and 10 assists.
"It feels like we let one slip away," Coach Daniel Brown said. "We made enough plays to give ourselves a chance to win. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
"It's sad in our locker room right now. But we feel like we've got this program back in the state picture. We'll recover from this and hopefully come back strong next year."
Madison Central 60, Henry Clay 56
HENRY CLAY (23-10) — Green 16, Cunningham 8, Grundy 7, Tichenor 5, Tisdale 6, Ware 12, Newby 2.
MADISON CENTRAL (27-5) — Hawkins 24, Bosley 18, Parke 6, Taylor 5, George 4, Walker 3.
Henry Clay 11 15 15 15—56
Madison Central 13 16 14 17—60
11th Region finals at EKU
7:30 p.m.: Lexington Catholic (22-10) vs. Madison Central (27-5)
Radio: WVLK-FM 101.5
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337 Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com