Lexington Christian held off Tates Creek 53-49 in the opening game of the boys' 43rd District tournament on Monday night for the Eagles' first post-season victory in five years.
Coach Brad Carter called it "a huge win" for LCA, but it wasn't a defining moment for the program, which has never advanced past the district semifinals.
"That's the next one we've gotta get," Carter said.
The Eagles will try for it against Lexington Catholic in Wednesday's semifinals.
"We've got a tough challenge, but we've got nothing to lose," Carter said. "We'll come out and see if we can get it done."
LCA got it done against Tates Creek.
Tyler Harville, a sharp-shooting senior guard, led the Eagles with 21 points, including four three-pointers.
When Tates Creek closed to within 40-39 early in the fourth quarter, Harville nailed a three-pointer. A few minutes later, when the Commodores got to within 45-42, Harville fed Jon Lannertone who scored inside.
"Just trying to be a leader," Harville said of his clutch play. "I gotta try to step up when it's needed."
LCA's inside guys did their part. Matt Rose, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, had 12 points and eight rebounds. Lannertone, a 6-4 senior, had eight points. Michael Young, a 6-5 junior, had two assists and four nifty assists.
"We felt like we had a little advantage inside," Carter said. "We wanted to draw (Tates Creek's 6-5 Jordan) Fucci out and let our other big guy go to work."
Cody Kalinowski, a 6-0 junior, was a key contributor, too. He had eight points, including two big rebound baskets and two free throws with a minute left that gave LCA a 51-47 lead.
Rose and Harville also cashed a pair of foul shots each down the stretch to keep Tates Creek from having a shot to tie.
LCA had a good shooting night. It was 18 of 34 from the field (53 percent) and made 13 of 15 free throws.
The Eagles were efficient on defense, too, holding Tates Creek to 19 of 47 shooting (40 percent). The Commodores struggled to score most of the night.
"We got some big stops," Carter said. "And I was real happy with the way we kept our poise and didn't let Tates Creek get us out of sync."
The Commodores, closing a 6-22 season, were led by senior Vincent Mattox's 20 points. Sophomore point guard Desmond Duke had 10 points. Fucci had nine points and nine rebounds.
"I was real impressed with how Tyler Harville played. Matt Rose was maybe the difference," Tates Creek Coach Wayne Breeden said. "He did a nice job isolating us on the side and scoring.
"I was proud of our guys. We persevered and had a chance to win tonight. And I thought they fought and battled all season."
Lexington Christian 53, Tates Creek 49
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN — Harville 21, Rose 12, Lannertone 8, Kalinowski 8, Stein 2, Young 2.
TATES CREEK (6-22) — Mattox 20, Fucci 9, Duke 10, I.Davis 4, Love 6.
Lexington Christian 13 18 9 13—53
Tates Creek 14 14 8 13—49
Records: Lexington Christian 11-16; Tates Creek 6-22
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com