February 13, 2016

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Flyers have come a long way to regional tourney

Published 11:39 am Monday, February 25, 2013

The past month seems a lifetime away from where the Franklin County Flyers are now.

In early February, the Flyers were on a five-game losing skid and during that stretch FCHS fell 85-32 to Madison Central Feb. 8.

Since then, the Flyers proved theyre peaking at the right time, with a win over Anderson County to close the regular season and a victory over Frankfort High in the district tournament.Now they will have another chance to show just how far theyve come with a rematch against Madison Central in the first round of the 11th Region Tournament at Eastern Kentucky Universitys McBrayer Arena 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.

In this region, to move forward youve got to play the best to be the best, FCHS head coach Tommy Johnson said. We are ready for the challenge.

Johnson said the Flyers are a different team than the group that played the Indians nearly a month ago. He says theyve grown up and matured, with the most recent example coming in the 41st District championship game against Woodford County.

FCHS trailed for three quarters by as many as 11 before fighting its way back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Johnson said it took guts to be able to come back against a Yellow Jacket team that hasnt lost to a district opponent this season. The Flyers were narrowly beaten 72-64 in the last minute of the game Friday night.

The Flyers have a 9-16 overall record, 5-3 in district play and 6-8 against teams in the 11th Region.Franklin County took Saturday off before resuming practice Sunday night in preparation for Madison Central.

I remember their pressure, Johnson said of the last time they played. They really get after you, they have long bodies and theyre really, really athletic.Well have to handle their pressure and do a better job of making plays, defending and making rebounds.

Madison Central is 25-5 overall, 3-0 in the 44th District and 9-0 in the 11th Region. The Indians had an uncontested road to the district championship, defeating Berea 83-36 in the first round and Madison Southern 80-40 for the crown.

On Feb. 8 at Madison Central, the Indians shot a field-goal percentage of 52.2. Madison Central finished with 10 foul shots and five 3-pointers, and out-rebounded the Flyers 40-19.

The Flyers shot 34.1 percent from the field and made just two free throws and two 3-pointers.

The Indians held junior Rylan Rowe, FCHS leading scorer, to 8 points, which was a game-high for the Flyers. Junior Chris Roberts led FCHS with six rebounds.

The Indians had three players in double-digit scoring. Senior Kenjah Bosley scored 21 points and shot 69.2 percent from the field, while seniors Dominique Hawkins had 14 and Quan Taylor finished with 11.

The guys already know why the score was what it it was when we played them the last time. They already know what they have to do this time. Theyre ready, Johnson said.

Johnson said the Flyers had to simulate Madison Centrals pressure in practice this weekend.

Well put six guys on defense and five on offense. Thats really the only way to put that type of pressure on your guys to be prepared, he said.

Although Johnson admits they have a tough task on their hands Tuesday, he said it doesnt change how proud he is that the Flyers have reached this point.

Im so proud of every single one of my guys, he said. Theyve shown so much maturity stepping up and being leaders. Im proud of what theyve accomplished and even our scores from the past couple weeks havent shown how far weve come. Theyve shown a lot of heart, determination and guts.

Emily Patton: (502) 227-4556 EXT 264. Email: epatton@state-journal.com. Twitter: @pemily