RICHMOND — Eight-time champion University Heights Academy kept a couple of streaks alive in the boys' Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic on Thursday night.
The Blazers outlasted Lexington Christian Academy 64-63 in overtime, giving them a 16-0 record in the first round of the small-school state tournament.
UHA also extended LCA's first-round losing streak to five years in a row, lending some validity to Eagles Coach Tommy Huston's claim before the All "A" that his team has been "snake-bit" in this event.
UHA Coach Randy McCoy, who coached in Eastern Kentucky before moving to Hopkinsville three years ago, played off that suggestion.
"I brought some venom from the mountains ... and mixed it with some Western Kentucky venom," he said.
"The snake was alive tonight!"
The Blazers outplayed favored LCA, especially at crunch time in McBrayer Arena.
After UHA's Matt McGowan missed a shot that would have won it with two seconds left in regulation, the Blazers never trailed in overtime.
Keifer Blane's two free throws with 17 seconds left made it 64-60. LCA's Branden Burdette answered with a three with eight seconds left. That was the Eagles' last shot.
"The game boiled down to our three-point shooting," Huston said. "We were 2-for-16, and that's very unusual for us. We just seem to struggle in this gym."
LCA's Taylor Barnette missed all six of his long-range attempts. "And he's one of the best shooters I've ever coached," Huston said.
McCoy credited his defense for LCA's poor shooting.
"We made it tough on them to get good looks," he said.
UHA got a big game from Ryan Hudson. The 6-foot-3 junior had 26 points and six rebounds. "He ate us up pretty good," Huston said.
McGowan had 17 points, and T.J. Smith had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Will Evans, a 6-foot-7 senior, led LCA with 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals. Burdette added 18 points.
Huston saidthe game's turning point came early in the second half when LCA let a seven-point lead evaporate.
"The momentum changed, and momentum is everything in basketball," he said.
Evans, who has tasted four first-round losses, said "we didn't make shots at the end of the game and didn't make the stops we needed to."
McCoy said UHA's tradition of success in the All "A" motivated his team.
"These kids have some pride about them," he said.
Lexington Christian 15 13 11 14 10—63
University Heights 13 14 9 17 11—64
Lexington Christian (12-6) — Burdette 18. Helton 4. Evans 20. Barnette 10. Stephens 8. Gullet 3.
University Heights (12-8) — Blane 5. McGowan 17. Hudson 26. Smith 11. Ladd 3. McNease 2.