No basketball brainiac was needed to figure out why No. 11 Lafayette was able to knock off No. 8 Lexington Catholic 66-57 in boys' basketball on Friday night.
"Any time you get beat on the boards 44-22, it doesn't matter what you do, you're going to lose the ball game," Knights Coach Brandon Salsman said.
Lafayette big guys Jackson Davis and Nick Trisko combined to win the battle of the boards by themselves.
Davis, a 6-foot-8 junior, had 15 rebounds to go with 22 points. Trisko, a 6-8 senior, had 11 rebounds and 11 points.
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The Generals also had 6-6 Charles Sweatt-Washington, 6-6 Shon Wright and 6-8 Ethan Burlingham to throw into the mix in the paint to counter Lexington Catholic's 6-8 star Jack Whitman.
Lafayette had 18 second-chance points to just five for the Knights.
"We're a very big team, and that's not something you can prepare for in practice," Davis said.
Whitman had to work hard for his 16 points and five rebounds.
"He's a great player, but we didn't back down," said Tranard Chester, who had 16 points in Lafayette's first victory of the season. "We thought if we'd throw some bodies at him, maybe he'd miss some shots and we could come out on top."
The host Generals, who lost to No. 2 Bullitt East and No. 18 Paul Laurence Dunbar in their first two games, led Lexington Catholic almost the entire 32 minutes.
They jumped ahead 14-2, but the Knights battled back to tie it 22-22, sparked by Dillon Avare's three three-pointers.
Lafayette was up 33-27 at halftime, and extended its lead to 37-27 early in the fourth quarter before Lexington Catholic sophomore Tanner Johnson scored 13 points in the third quarter. He nailed a three in the final minute to give the Knights their first lead of the night at 46-43.
Lafayette finally took control when it broke away from a 51-51 tie with an 8-0 run, including a three by Chester and a dunk by Davis.
Generals Coach Mike Mendenhall III said his team's size was the difference.
"We're fortunate enough to be big enough to play (Whitman) one on one and stay home on their shooters," he said. "The key was, no one else got 20 for them."
Mendenhall, a former standout point guard at Lexington Catholic, also liked his team's poise under pressure.
"You know a Catholic team is going to fight, fight, fight, so we knew we were going to find out what we were made of.
"Catholic hit some big shots, and we could've folded, but our kids dug down, got some stops and found a way to win."
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (3-2) — Whitman 16, Avare 11, Johnson 15, Banahan 4, Griffin 5, Talbott 4, Ryan 2.
LAFAYETTE (1-2) — Davis 22, Chester 16, Trisko 11, Wright 2, Sweatt-Washington 6, Blakley 5, Evans 2, Wright 2.
Lexington Catholic 10 17 19 11—57
Lafayette 16 17 12 21—66