FRANKFORT — Looking for an instructional video to show high school kids the finer points of basketball?
Ask Newport Central Catholic Coach Ron Dawn for a DVD of his team's first half against Lexington Christian Academy in the Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic semifinals in the Frankfort Convention Center Saturday night.
The defending champions put on a clinic in the first 16 minutes. They played stifling defense, hit the boards, precisely executed their offense and shot 70 percent, including 7-for-8 on three-pointers, as they built a 52-18 lead.
Zack Pangallo's 5-for-5 three-point shooting led the way. He finished the night with 27 points and NewCath wound up winning 78-49.
"That's as good as we can play," Dawn said of NewCath's first-half performance.
LCA Coach Brad Carter was impressed. "I'd like to see somebody beat them in that first half."
NewCath, rated the fourth-best team in Kentucky by Dave Cantrall, has yet to be tested this week. It routed Owensboro Catholic 60-39 in the first round and Green County 69-33 in the quarterfinals before dismantling LCA for its 13th win in a row.
Next up for the Thoroughbreds is Cordia in Sunday's 2:30 finals. Cordia blew by Betsy Layne 80-52 Saturday.
NewCath beat Cordia 64-63 in double overtime in Lexington Catholic's Christmas tournament. Cordia Coach Rodrick Rhodes remembers the Breds as being "very talented and very disciplined in what they do.
"We have a huge challenge tomorrow. It'll be a good test to see how far we've come defensively and rebounding. We've gotta push the ball in transition and use our speed against their size, and see what wins out."
NewCath's size and shooting won out against LCA.
Drew McDonald, a 6-foot-7 junior, had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Jake Schulte, a 6-8 senior, had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Then along comes Pangallo to kill from the perimeter.
"You pick your poison," Carter said.
Pangallo hit 11 of 15 shots, including five of six threes.
"It was one of those moments where you're feeling it," he said. "After making my first two or three threes, I knew if I had it in my hands I was going to knock it down."
NewCath's defense held LCA's Matt Rose and Drew Trimble without a field goal in the first half.
"They were the two guys we said we've gotta do a job on," Dawn said.
Rose came alive in the second half and led LCA with 16 points and five rebounds. Trimble had six points. Benton Nighbert had nine points (three threes) and five rebounds off the bench.
Carter liked the way his team kept competing.
"(NewCath) could very well be the state champions, and I wanted to see how we'd fight in the second half," Carter said. "I know (NewCath) took some time off and relaxed, but we won the second half by five points, and that's what we'll build on."
Cordia 82, Betsy Layne 50: The Lions roared to a 13-0 lead over Betsy Layne and led 47-26 at halftime.
"We were a little intimidated, no doubt," Bobcats Coach William Newsome said.
Cordia's backcourt of Anthony Tagaloa and Christen Cunningham led the attack. Tagaloa had 19 points and five rebounds. Cunningham had 18 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
"They've been our senior leaders," Rhodes said. "After we lost to Lawrence County (on Jan. 7), those two guys had a heart-to-heart team meeting, and so far it's turned our season around."
The Lions won the battle of the boards, led by 6-11 eighth-grader Ourmar Keita's 10 rebounds.
Josh Ortiz and Richard Chapman combined for 14 points and five rebounds in their second game since being ruled eligible on Friday.
Betsy Layne, which won the 2011 All "A" title, was led by Peyton Case's 17 points. Andrew Tackett had 12 and Dylan Meade added 11.
Newsome hopes the Bobcats' experience against Cordia will help them down the road.
"Playing against that kind of pressure and quickness, which which we don't see back home very often, maybe will help us be competitive in (the 15th) region," he said.
Newport Central Catholic 78, Lexington Christian 49
NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC (20-3) — Pangallo 27, McDonald 17, Schulte 11, G.Moeves 9, Weyer 9, T.Moeves 3, Rawe 2.
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (14-8) — Rose 16, Nighbert 9, Trimble 6, Stein 2, Schacht 2, Hill 3, Young 6, John Davis 5.
Newport Catholic 22 30 16 10—78
Lexington Christian 9 9 18 13—49
Cordia 80, Betsy Layne 52
BETSY LAYNE (19-4) — Dylan Meade 11, Case 17, Tackett 12, Dalton Meade 4, Hall 1, Rogers 3, Hamilton 4.
CORDIA (17-5) — Tagaloa 19, Cunningham 18, Lucien 2, Chisolm 2, Ortiz 5, Keita 6, Frimpong 5, Cornett 1, Combs 6, Catchings 5, Chapman 9, Smith 2.
Betsy Layne 8 18 11 15—52
Cordia 32 15 11 22—80
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.