GEORGETOWN — If there were any doubts that Lexington Catholic has what it takes to win a third consecutive 11th Region boys' basketball title, they were erased Saturday night.
The No. 5 Knights rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit and beat top-rated Scott County 74-71 in a game that might have been a rehearsal for a regional tournament rematch next month.
"To come into a hostile environment like this and be able to come back like we did against the No. 1 team in the state is a testimony to how good we're getting," Coach Brandon Salsman said.
"We made some serious mistakes we've got to fix, but my gosh, the heart and soul of my team is as big as any I've ever coached."
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The heroes were many for the Knights, including junior Taylor Martin.
When Lexington Catholic stunned No. 1 Scott County in the region finals last year, Martin hit the winning free throws in the last seconds.
He did it again Saturday night, cashing two foul shots with 14 seconds left to give the Knights a 73-71 lead.
Was it deja vu for Martin?
"A little bit, I guess," he said. "Actually, I was more nervous this time because I had missed (four) free throws earlier in the game."
Scott County's Chad Jackson misfired from the top of the key with two seconds left, and Jaylen Beckham hit one of two foul shots to close it out for Lexington Catholic.
The Beckham brothers — Jaylen and Seth — came up big for the Knights in the backcourt. Jaylen, a sophomore, had 21 points and eight rebounds. Seth, a junior, had 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Martin had 14 points, six rebounds and eight assists.
Tanner Peurach, a 6-foot-8 senior, added eight points and six rebounds. His early play kept the Knights from falling too far behind.
Still, the visitors were in a 14-point hole (40-26) in the opening minute of the second half. They started clawing out late in the third quarter, using a 12-2 run to get back into contention.
Scott County Coach Billy Hicks put the blame on his team's defense — "We stopped playing it," he said. "Old habits are hard to break. We started standing around."
Dakotah Euton, a 6-8 senior, led the Cards with 22 points, 16 rebounds and three steals.
Jackson had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ge-Lawn Guyn had 16 points, and Tamron Manning added 10 as Scott County's 13-game winning streak ended
"I was aggravated because I hate for teams to play harder than us, and Catholic did," Hicks said. "We weren't as tough as we should be. They beat our tails on our home court. This night belongs to Catholic."
Salsman wasn't about to get too pumped up after his Knights won their 10th game in a row and beat Scott County for the fourth time in their last five meetings.
"There are no ladders out here to cut down nets," he said. "We're just worried about getting ready for Lafayette in the district."
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (19-4) — Peurach 4-5 0-2 8, J. Beckham 7-16 7-13 21, Martin 4-13 6-10 14, S. Beckham 7-12 3-3 18, Schuette 3-10 2-2 8, Porter 1-4 0-0 2, Floyd 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 26-60 19-32 74.
SCOTT CO. (20-6) — Jackson 8-17 2-4 18, Euton 8-15 3-5 22, Guyn 7-12 2-3 16, Manning 3-5 4-4 10, Shotwell 0-4 0-0 0, Ivey 2-2 0-0 4, Schu 0-0 1-2 1, Flannery 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 12-18 71.
Lexington Catholic 7 19 19 29—74
Scott County 14 22 15 20—71