Lexington Christian rises, shines in All 'A' opener

mfields@herald-leader.comJanuary 30, 2014 

FRANKFORT — No snooze buttons in the pre-dawn and no napping on the team bus on the 40-minute ride to the Frankfort Convention Center.

Lexington Christian Academy abided by those rules to get ready for its 8:30 a.m. opener in the boys' Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic on Thursday morning.

The Eagles, who had a shoot-around at school at 6:15 a.m., and a bite of breakfast afterward, were up and at 'em at tip-off and rolled by Elliott County 62-47.

"I could tell at the shoot-around they had gotten their rest and were ready to go," Coach Brad Carter said. "They just had a bounce in their step, and it showed in the first quarter."

LCA raced to a 19-8 lead over Elliott County and was never seriously threatened.

It was only the second win in eight first-round All "A" games for the Eagles since 2006. Their other victory also came in an 8:30 opener.

"We're 2-0 in these games, so we'll keep playing them," Carter said with a smile. "Now we've just gotta figure out how to (win) the next one."

LCA (13-7) will play Louisville Holy Cross (15-4) in Friday's quarterfinals. Holy Coss beat University Heights Academy 68-55 in Thursday morning's second game.

Michael Young, a 6-foot-5 senior, led LCA with 13 points and eight rebounds. Drew Trimble, a 6-7 junior, had 12 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Neither player minded the early morning exercise.

"The shoot-around really helped," Trimble said. "And we weren't allowed to sleep on the bus, so everybody was energized when we got here."

Young, who said he got up at 5:15 a.m., agreed.

"The shoot-around definitely helped get us in the right mindset. But it doesn't really matter to me when we play, and most guys are ready to play whenever."

Carter has been touting his team's depth all season, and it showed against Elliott County. LCA's bench contibuted 23 points to the victory, led by Benton Nighbert's nine points (on three three-pointers) and Drew Schacht's eight points and three steals.

Trevor Hill, a sophomore starter, had nine points and four rebounds.

"We've talked about our depth all year," Carter said. "It's 'next man up.' The guys know if they stay ready they'll get a shot."

It didn't matter that Matt Rose, the team's top scorer and rebounder, went scoreless in his first action in five games. He's been out with a foot injury, and he looked rusty as he fouled out despite playing only eight minutes.

"We're one of the deepest teams in the state, I'd have to say," Trimble said. "That makes us all better because we have that competition in practice every day."

Elliott County, in the All "A" for the first time since 2009, was led by Logan Nickell's 11 points, and Collin Howell's seven points and six rebounds.

Lexington Christian 62, Elliott Co. 47

LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (13-7) — Young 13, Trimble 12, Hill 9, Stein 5, Rose 0, Nighbert 9, Davis 6, Schacht 8.

ELLIOTT COUNTY (14-7) — Nickell 11, R. Griffith 6, L. Griffith 3, Holbrook 6, Howell 7, I. Griffith 3, Whitley 2, Porter 3, Sloas 6.

Lexington Christian 19 21 5 17—62

Elliott Co. 8 19 7 13—47

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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