Lexington Catholic was locked in a tight one with Lexington Christian. And then it wasn’t.
The Knights, ranked No. 11 in the latest Cantrall Ratings, defeated No. 12 LCA, 64-43, in the last regular-season game between 43rd District boys’ teams at Thursday night. It had major implications; LexCath’s win tied it with No. 8 Paul Laurence Dunbar in the standings. Since the teams split their regular-season meetings, a Saturday morning coin flip will decide the No. 1 seed for the district tournament.
Tied at 18 after 16 minutes, Lexington Catholic used its press to turn things in its favor in the second half. LexCath led 38-33 after the third quarter and pushed its lead to 20 points with three minutes to play, encouraging LCA Coach Nate Valentine to insert his reserves for the final stretch.
“If anybody wants to tell me that there’s a tougher district in the state, I’m gonna call ’em a liar,” LexCath Coach Brandon Salsman said. “That’s a great team, they just kind of ran out of gas and were a little flat. But they could beat just about anybody in the state of Kentucky.”
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Zan Payne led Lexington Catholic with 19 points and six rebounds. Luke Johnson, a Loyola-Maryland signee, had 11 points, 10 assists, six rebounds for the Knights.
Max Sparkman gave LexCath a big lift in spelling starter Peter Whitman, a forward who played 16 minutes but has been battling an illness. Sparkman was 3-for-3 from the floor and finished with nine points and six boards in 15 minutes.
“He got the game ball for sure tonight,” Salsman said. “His performance tonight was unbelievable. That’s his best performance of his career. If we can get that type of performance from him and the rest of the stuff from the guys, we’re gonna be tough going forward.”
Dunbar downs Henry Clay
Paul Laurence Dunbar defeated Henry Clay, 97-74, to finish 8-0 against Fayette County competition in the regular season.
Taveion Hollingsworth led the Bulldogs, whose only loss in the 11th Region was by one point at Lexington Catholic on Jan. 19, with 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. He passed former Lafayette standout Jackson Davis for second on the all-time city scoring list.
Hollingsworth, who’s career total sits at 2,356 points, is now 53 points away from breaking the all-time Lexington scoring record held by former Bryan Station star Mike Allen, who finished his career with 2,408 points in 1989.
Javea Richardson and JaQuon Gray each shot 8-for-9 from the field for the Bulldogs. Richardson ended with 20 points while Gray had 17 and five assists. Justin Mitchell led Henry Clay with 19 points.
Station dams Creek in OT
Terrance Clayton-Murphy punctuated a big night with a dunk with 14 seconds left to lift Bryan Station to a 65-60 win at Tates Creek.
Clayton-Murphy finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds in the win. Eric “Boss” Boone was two assists shy of a triple-double for the Defenders, ending with 16 points, 13 rebounds and eight dimes.
Anthony Hardin led Tates Creek with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Henry Clay girls bouncing back
Henry Clay’s girls defeated Sayre on Tuesday, 39-36, bouncing back after having a five-game win streak halted at Scott County last Friday. The Blue Devils continued their return to form, mauling East Jessamine, 66-30, on the road Thursday.
Kiya Thompson had 15 points while Braxton Price scored 10 for Henry Clay. Tyronica Carpenter had seven points and a game-high seven rebounds for the Blue Devils.
East Jessamine (1-21) was coming off its first win of the season, 68-53 over Tates Creek on Wednesday.