Lexington Christian recovered from a barren first half to come away with a 50-36 victory over Walton-Verona Friday night in the quarterfinals of the boys’ All “A” Classic at the Frankfort Convention Center.
Austin Hall scored 14 points — all in the second half — to lead LCA, which reached the semifinals for the fourth time in program history. It will play Paris at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night; neither team has ever reached the All “A” finals.
Box score: Lexington Christian 50, Walton-Verona 36
The Eagles were 7-for-24 (29.2 percent) in the first half while allowing Walton-Verona to make 52.9 percent of its shots (nine of 17). They had eight turnovers and didn’t shoot a single free throw in the first 16 minutes.
Never miss a local story.
LCA held the Bearcats to 13 points on 5-for-18 shooting in the second half to pick up its sixth straight double-digit victory.
Coach Nate Valentine said the lockerroom was calm as it faced a 23-16 halftime deficit.
“I told these guys before the game I felt like I tried to dictate too much of what they did in yesterday’s game, and I trust these guys a lot,” Valentine said. “They know how to make winning plays and that’s what we talked about before the game. ‘You guys just go play.’”
Valentine noted the presence of Bearcats sophomore Dieonte Miles —a 6-foot-7 forward with arms to match — as a factor in the first half. His ability to block and alter shots was something to which the Eagles needed to adjust out of the break.
“In the second half we were able to draw Dieonte away from the basket a little bit and Kyle (Rode) got going,” Valentine said.
Rode, Hall and Carter Hendricksen — LCA’s three leading scorers — were a combined 2-for-14 for four points at halftime. Rode ended with a double-double — 13 points and 12 rebounds to go with six assists — while Hendricksen had nine points and six rebounds.
As against most teams it’s faced this year, LCA will have a size advantage against Paris, which keeps five guards on the floor at all times.
“They fight and they play hard and they scrap,” Valentine said. “They play hard and that makes up for any lack of size that they have. It’ll be a heck of a semifinal game on both sides tomorrow.”