Lafayette boys, girls sweep doubleheader at Lexington Catholic

mmaloney@herald-leader.comJanuary 14, 2014 

Nothing fancy in figuring out how No. 8 Lafayette was able to pick up a 63-56 district road victory over No. 23 Lexington Catholic.

"I think (it was) our senior leadership," Generals Coach Mike Mendenhall III said after Tuesday's win. "Those seniors really stepped up and showed some mettle.

"Dequise (Robinson) hitting some big free throws. Jackson (Davis) getting the runouts and big rebounds. And Lance (Blakely) just being that steady force."

Davis paced the winners with 23 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and three steals.

"Definitely our heart," Davis said of the difference in the game. "We have just found a will to win this year. Sometimes we've gotten down in games and we just find a way to keep winning them."

Robinson added 17 points and four assists.

Lafayette has now won three straight since falling 59-54 to Catholic in the finals of the Republic Bank Classic.

"It feels great," Davis said. "It's a district game, a lot of energy in the crowd and we just came to perform."

Jarod Griffin scored 17 points for Catholic (12-5). Robert Dence totaled 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists and four blocks.

The Knights led by five, 31-26, after Griffin made two free throws with 2:27 left in the first half.

Lafayette scored the last five points of the half to tie, then scored the first seven of the third quarter to lead 38-31.

Catholic refused to fold, coming back to tie at 43.

The Knights took a 53-51 lead on two Griffin free throws with 4;06 left.

However, Lafayette outscored Catholic 12-3 the rest of the way.

Jajuante Carpenter's three-pointer put Lafayette ahead for keeps, 54-53.

Ross Jenkins scored from close range and Davis finished a runout with a dunk to make it 58-53.

Tanner Johnson ended Catholic's mini-drought with a three-pointer, but that was all the Knights would muster.

"They hit a couple shots down the stretch and we missed a few," Catholic Coach Brandon Salsman said. "We knew playing them that it's going to go down to the wire every time probably.

"They executed a little bit better than we did this time. They've got a great coach and a great team, and I wouldn't expect anything less."

The teams will meet again Feb. 8 at Lafayette.

"We hope we play them a lot more than one more time," Salsman said. "But we've got such a tough district. We've got to continue to keep our focus against other teams besides them and just keep playing together as a team and getting better. I thought we did some really good things tonight. We just, down the stretch, missed a couple shots that we normally don't miss."

lafayette 63, lexington catholic 56

LAFAYETTE (11-5) — Robinson 17, Blakely 4, Davis 23, Lane 0, Jenkins 6, Hall 3, Jackson 2, Carpenter 8. Totals 23-47 12-21 63.

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (12-5) — Dence 13, Ryan 2, Talbott 8, Griffin 17, Johnson 9, Morris 7. Totals 18-39 25-26 56.

Lafayette 18 13 15 17 — 63

Lexington Catholic 12 19 14 11 — 56

Three-point goals — L 5-13; LC 5-14.

Lady Generals huddle up

Trailing 15-11 at halftime, Lafayette needed to change things Tuesday night at Lexington Catholic.

The 11th-rated Lady Generals did, pulling away for a 44-34 victory.

"They had a little meeting in the locker room and pulled themselves together," Lafayette Coach Allison Denton said. "The girls get all the credit. They figured it out and they took care of business."

Ashanti Thomas led the Lady Generals (11-2) with 17 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. Dee Givens added 14 points.

"We started off slow," Denton said. "The past six games have been not crisp, not sharp. No one's overlooking our opponents; we just haven't been sharp. But I saw the old Lafayette the second half today, so things look better."

Catholic (10-6) controlled the tempo in the first half but couldn't sustain it.

"They got a little more aggressive and came out and got us," Coach Scott True said.

Catholic still led 23-19 after Caroline Lynch hit a free throw with 3:26 left in the third quarter.

But Lafayette closed the stanza by scoring 10 straight, then scored the first six of the fourth quarter to lead 35-23.

Givens scored 10 of the 16 straight points, nailing three three-pointers. Thomas had a pair of baskets and Kiara Pankins had one.

"They negated some things with their size, which I thought they would do," True said. "We didn't shoot it particularly well. They had a lot to do with that.

"We didn't get to the foul line in the second half. We had 10 free throws in the first half and we didn't shoot any until late in the fourth quarter. We had to get to the foul line against them."

Catholic finished 10 of 12 at the free-throw line, while Lafayette went 13 of 23.

Rachel Blake and Bailey Browning scored 10 points each for the Lady Knights. Catholic shot just 10 of 39 (25.6 percent) and was outrebounded 36-21. Lafayette made 14 of 39 shots (35.9 percent).

lafayette 44, lexington catholic 34

LAFAYETTE (11-2) — Givens 14, Cooley 4, Thomas 17, Pankins 7, K. Demus 2. Totals 14-39 13-23 44.

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (10-6) — Blake 10, Gadberry 5, Browning 10, Miller 4, Lynch 3, Bonn 2. Totals 10-39 10-12 34.

Lafayette 6 5 18 15—44

Lexington Catholic 5 10 8 11—34

Three-point goals — L 3-6; LC 4-15.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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