Come-from-behind wins have become Scott County's calling card when the Cards drop in on Madison Central for 11th Region boys' basketball showdowns in recent years.
Everything about Tuesday night's season-opening script in Richmond looked true to form until the final nine seconds.
After SC's defensive stop late in regulation, Central tied up the play long enough to earn a possession arrow in its favor and a second opportunity.
That led to Kole Browne's drive-and-dish to an open Kenyatta Hardge for a layup at the buzzer – Hardge's only two points of the game – and an 85-83 victory.
Madison Central ended a 12-game losing streak against Scott County that dated back to 2006.
Micah Glenn scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Cardinals, including a bank-shot 3-pointer to tie it in the final minute.
Isaiah Haynes added 20 for SC, which trailed for much of the night, including a maximum deficit of a dozen in the third quarter. Jeremy Hamilton (12) and Nick Mosby (10) also scored in double digits. Elias Richardson combined nine points with a team-high six rebounds.
Browne led all scorers with 27 points, including 13-for-17 from the free-throw line. The Indians were 23-for-29 as a team at the stripe, while the Cards left points on the table with a 17-for-31 showing.
Will Hardin had 18 points, Braeden Ray 16 and Jaylen Davis 12 for Madison Central, which led 19-10 after one quarter and 47-37 at the half.
Glenn's 3-pointer gave Scott County 10 in its 18 tries from deep and represented the only tie of the contest. Madison Central never trailed.
SC remains road warriors this week in two more vaunted venues: Henry Clay (Friday) and Mason County (Saturday).
Warhawks make progress but fall to Colts
Great Crossing found its footing after a tough first half Tuesday night in a 73-50 boys' basketball loss at West Jessamine.
DeAjuan Stepp (32 points, nine rebounds) and Gavin Salva (20 points, 12 rebounds) were a double-whammy at the rim for the reigning 12th Region champion Colts. They were a combined 24-for-35 from the field.
Stepp's early success in transition paved the path to a 23-8 lead after eight minutes. That ballooned to 44-20 at the half, at which point Carson Walls had all but five of the Warhawks' points.
Walls wound up with a career-high 24, including four 3-pointers. Daquis Brown added 12 points and Vince Dawson III produced 10 for the Warhawks, featuring four new starters and a roster dominated by sophomores and freshmen.
Brown and Walls each made four steals, leading a defensive effort that harassed West Jessamine into 23 turnovers.
Daniel Waters added 10 points for the Colts, who shot 53 percent compared to the Warhawks' 31.8 percent.
Two more toughies await Great Crossing, which travels to Frederick Douglass on Thursday and hosts Madison Central on Saturday.
What goes around comes around as Dunbar rolls
Scott County girls' basketball coach Steve Helton often leans on a phrase from “The Lion King” – the circle of life – when referring to the ebb and flow of where the power lies in the 11th Region.
That circle was evident on the rectangle that is the Lady Cards' home court Tuesday night. SC has owned Paul Laurence Dunbar's number in recent years, including an unforgettable comeback victory in Lexington last winter.
Armed with all five starters back from that episode, the Bulldogs exacted revenge with a convincing 60-35 verdict.
Elise Ellison-Coons led all scorers with 19 points for PLD. Aziah Campbell added 15.
Emma Price scored 10 of her team-high 12 in the first four minutes of the contest to give SC its only lead of the night at 12-11, but a barrage of 3-pointers sent Dunbar on its way.
Ellison-Coons, Campbell, Carley Hinshaw and Tanaya Cecil each connected twice from beyond the arc. Quinn Arnold also dialed long distance for Dunbar, which was 9-for-20 from afar.
Kenady Tompkins tallied 10 points and five rebounds for the Lady Cards, 11th Region finalists in each of the past three seasons, winning twice. Tompkins and Price were starters for last year's squad, which graduated a pair of Division I players.
Maleiyah Moore sank a pair of threes and finished with eight points for Scott County,'
The Cards will hit the road to George Rogers Clark (Wednesday) and Franklin County (Friday).
For much more on all three of Tuesday's games, please see the Friday edition of the News-Graphic.