RICHMOND — Better late than never.
A day after the 11th Region girls' basketball semifinals were supposed to be played, Paul Laurence Dunbar and defending champion Madison Central got their desired victories in McBrayer Arena.
No. 11 Dunbar defeated Woodford County 56-46, and No. 12 Central whipped Bryan Station 52-39.
Semifinals were postponed Friday due to severe weather.
Finals are set for Sunday afternoon at 4.
Dunbar 56, Woodford Co. 46: Balanced scoring and gritty defense told the story for the Lady Bulldogs (27-6).
Brooke Todd scored 12 points. Lakeena Parks, Kierra Muhammad, Lexus Edwards and Shakeema Jackson each totaled 10.
The key, Coach Sarah Van Horn said, was defense.
"It always comes down to our defense, and we always tell our girls defense wins championships," Van Horn said.
Parks finished with a double-double, grabbing 11 of her team's 40 rebounds.
"It feels great to make it to the championship game," Parks said. "I try my best to do whatever the team asks me to do."
Todd also blocked seven shots. Jordin Fender had four points, five assists and, like Jackson, three steals.
Catie Fletcher led Woodford (22-12) with 15 points. Chelsey Ford and Jessica Morgan had identical totals of seven points and 12 rebounds. Ford also had three steals and Morgan blocked five shots.
"We were very happy with our season," Coach Jay Lucas said. "District champs for the first time since 2007. Great job by our girls getting 22 wins on our tough schedule."
The Yellowjackets scored the first four points of the second half to take a 26-23 lead, and were tied at 31 before Dunbar made its move.
The Bulldogs scored the next eight points for a 39-31 lead. Parks scored with a baseline jumper, Muhammad hit back-to-back baskets and Parks went inside to tally.
Woodford cut the gap to 42-38 early in the fourth.
Jackson, who scored all of her points in the fourth quarter, hit a three-pointer and an old-style three-point play, and Parks followed with a jumper.
Suddenly the lead was 50-38. Woodford never came closer than 10 after that.
"We had the tempo the way we liked it," Lucas said. "We were playing them zone all night, just tried to slow them down. ... And then Dunbar has that quickness that they make runs. Made that run at the end of the third quarter and pulled away from there."
Edwards and Jackson split Dunbar's 20 bench points.
"It's going to take all 11 of them to do it, and they know it," Van Horn said. "So we're going to have to challenge the bench to do good things, too."
Dunbar shot 51.7 percent (15-for-29) in the second half and 38.3 percent (23-for-60) overall. Woodford finished 16-for-54 (29.6 percent).
Madison Central 52, Bryan Station 39: Larryn Brooks scored the last four points of the first quarter for an 11-7 Central lead and the Indians were never caught.
Brooks, a 5-foot-5 junior, finished with 19 points, seven assists and four steals.
The key factor was, Coach Robert Cooksey said, "our half-court defense. We were able to get in the trap and press a little bit."
"We forced 16 turnovers. We wanted to get the ball out of (Serena) Sandusky's hands and, typically, she brings it up and handles it. We wanted her to get rid of it, so I think that was pretty effective."
Sandusky led the Defenders (16-15) with 10 points, eight coming at the free-throw line. Brittany Williams added nine points and eight rebounds. Victoria McCoy had seven points and 11 boards.
"We didn't control the boards and we didn't play defense," Coach Donna Murphy said. "We let their point guard (Brooks) have whatever she wanted. We didn't come ready to play."
Said Brooks: "Any time we play aggressive defense like that and hold their biggest player to 10 points, that's really good. That's thanks to our guards that guarded her, and we've just got to come out and do that every night."
Central shot 19-for-49 (38.8 percent) and held the Defenders to 13-for-48 (27.1 percent). Station also struggled at the foul line (13-for-24).
Ashton Feldhaus added 14 points and blocked five shots for Central (28-4).
"We always compete, we work, we battle and we find ways to win," Cooksey said. "They scrap. We've got one or two scorers, but ... you look at Kristen Congleton with eight points, 11 rebounds. We've got kids that will scrap."
Central beat Dunbar 73-65 Feb. 17 at Lexington.
"We knew we'd see them again. We said it before when we played them," Brooks said. "They're a good team and it will be a good matchup."
DUNBAR (27-6) — McEldowney 0, Parks 10, Todd 12, Fender 4, Muhammad 10, Edwards 10, Jackson 10. Totals 23-60 9-15 56.
WOODFORD CO. (22-12) — Ford 7, J. Morgan 7, H. Morgan 3, McDonald 4, Fletcher 15, Reed 6, Harlow 2, Worrell 2. Totals 16-54 12-18 46.
Paul Dunbar 13 10 18 15—56
Woodford Co. 13 9 11 13—46
Three-point goals — PLD: 1-5 WC: 2-11.
BRYAN STATION (16-15) — Williams 9, McCoy 7, Clay 4, Sandusky 10, Frazier 2, Crumbie 2, Gill 5. Totals 13-48 13-24 39.
MADISON CENTRAL (28-4) — Feldhaus 14, Congleton 8, A. Hinkle 0, Brooks 19, H. Hinkle 0, Miller 6, Minter 3, O'Bryan 2. Totals 19-49 12-18 52.
Bryan Station 7 10 6 16—39
Madison Central 11 15 9 17—52
Three-point goals — BS: 0-5; MC: 2-8.