Madison Central ended 11 years of futility and frustration against Lexington Catholic on Tuesday night by ripping the host Knights 72-57 in a showdown of top 10 boys' basketball teams.
The Indians had lost 14 in a row to Lexington Catholic going back to 2001. The Knights' dominance included a 59-43 win in last year's 11th Region finals.
But No. 9 Madison Central was dominant this time, using a 20-0 run in the second quarter to take control over the No. 10 Knights.
Did it seem like forever ago to Coach Allen Feldhaus that the Indians beat their region rivals? "Yep," he said. "We've got pretty good players this time. That definitely helps."
Junior guards Dominique Hawkins and Ken-Jah Bosley are two of those "pretty good" players, and they were exceptional Tuesday night.
Hawkins had 28 points, 18 in the second half when Madison Central pushed its lead to 20 on two occasions.
Bosley got 15 of his 20 points in the first half, including 11 in the second quarter, when the Indians turned a 20-11 deficit into a 34-21 lead.
Quan Taylor, a 6-5 junior, had 13 points and seven rebounds, and he played solid defense on Lexington Catholic big man Jack Whitman.
Whitman, a 6-9 junior, got two early fouls. He played only six minutes and had just two points in the first half.
Taylor also had two quick fouls, but Feldhaus gambled and put him back on the court early in the second quarter.
"We got Quan back in there, turned the press on, and that was the difference," Feldhaus said. "We've never been able to press Catholic before, but we thought this would be the year. We thought our guards were a little bit quicker."
Lexington Catholic had a dismal second quarter. It not only had costly turnovers, it couldn't score when it did get into its offense. With Whitman on the bench, the Knights missed 11 consecutive shots during one stretch.
"We got some good looks but the ball just wouldn't go down," Coach Brandon Salsman said.
After leading 34-24 at halftime, Madison Central stayed in attack mode in the third quarter and quickly pushed its lead to 20.
Lexington Catholic tried to rally behind Craig Floyd, who was 7-for-14 on threes and had 23 points, and Whitman, who shook loose for 16 points in the second half. He also finished with eight rebounds.
But Madison Central's lead never shrank to less than 11 points.
"They had a great game plan, getting Jack out of there with the fouls," Salsman said.
"I'm extremely disappointed. I thought we'd play better than this. But we get to wake up tomorrow and get back to work in practice."
Next up for the Knights is a trip to region rival and No. 4 Scott County on Saturday.
Feldhaus is pleased with the way his team has responded since it suffered its first loss of the season, 64-49 at Henry Clay last week.
"Everybody deserves to lay one egg, and we laid one against Henry Clay," he said. "They got after us and we were down 20 to 5 before we knew what hit us.
"But we probably needed that. I think a lot of people over here (in Lexington) saw that Henry Clay score and thought we're not that good.
"But I think we're pretty darn good."
Bosley agreed that the loss was good for Madison Central.
"Ever since then, we've been working hard in practice and that's been paying off," he said.
"I think we needed to lose to wake us up."
MADISON CENTRAL (25-1) — Hawkins 9-13 9-12 28, Bosley 7-11 3-5 20, Taylor 5-7 3-7 13, Allen 0-7 2-2 2, O'Bryan 0-3 0-0 0, Walker 2-3 0-0 5, Stocker 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 25-46 17-26 72.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (20-6) — Whitman 8-10 2-2 18, Floyd 8-15 7-14 23, Keller 3-9 2-4 10, Avare 0-5 0-0 0, Woomer 1-6 0-2 3, Banahan 1-4 1-2 3, Ryan 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 5-11 57.
Madison Central 11 23 22 16—72
Lexington Catholic 18 6 12 21—57