Clark County had plenty of reasons not to play well in Friday night's game at Lafayette in a matchup of top 20 boys' basketball teams.
But the ninth-rated Cardinals didn't need any excuses, not after they shot the lights out in an 83-69 victory over No. 18 Lafayette.
Clark County was coming off a 10-day layoff that could have left them rusty.
They were missing star junior guard Robbie Stenzel (ankle injury), which left them short-handed.
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They also were still recovering from the mental damage inflicted by losses to state powers Scott County and Lexington Catholic in their last two games.
But none of that mattered as Clark County blistered the Generals.
"You'll never get an excuse from us, it just doesn't happen," Clark County Coach Scott Humphrey said.
"That's why we dress 15 players. We constantly tell the kids they're a sprained ankle away from playing 15 to 20 minutes on a given night."
The Cards' superior size and shooting overwhelmed Lafayette.
Vinny Zollo, a 6-foot-8 junior, had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
Travis Purvis, a 6-7 junior who missed last season with a knee injury, hit four of five three-pointers on his way to 18 points. He also had five rebounds and four assists.
"Within the last week and a half, Travis has gotten that passion and fever back, and it showed tonight," Humphrey said."
Jaylen Daniel, a 6-4 junior, had perhaps the best game of his career, contributing a season-high 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He also had seven turnovers, but Humphrey forgave those because Daniel ran the point against Lafayette's quick-handed defense.
"Jaylen was probably the key for us tonight the way he handled their pressure for 32 minutes," Humphrey said. "I thought he was outstanding."
Corey Rogers, a burly 6-5 junior, added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Clark County built a 65-42 lead after three quarters thanks to 73 percent shooting (25-for-34, including 7-for-9 on threes).
"LCA shot like that against us, too," Lafayette Coach Greg Coldiron said. "I don't know if our defense is that bad or what. At times we didn't look like we deserved to be on the floor with Clark County."
The Cards' height and length made life tough inside for Lafayette, which was out-rebounded 45-30.
The Generals' only easy baskets came on fast breaks, but those were few, as reflected in their 33 percent shooting.
Mike Walker led the hosts with 22 points. Domonique Hagans had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Tanner Napier added 11 points.
While Lafayette must regroup after lopsided losses to LCA and Clark County, the Cards will try to stay on an even keel.
"We have to handle this win just like we handled the last two losses," Humphrey said. "We'll go back to the practice floor and learn from what we did wrong."
"Like coach always tells us, no matter what happens, no excuses, just keep working to get better," he said.
CLARK CO. (19-6) — Zollo 11-14 5-6 28, Purvis 7-9 0-0 18, Daniel 7-11 5-8 20, Corey Rogers 4-7 2-3 10, Kindred 2-2 0-0 5, Charlie Rogers 0-1 2-2 2, VanCleve 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-46 14-19 83.
LAFAYETTE (18-4) — Walker 9-21 2-2 22, Hagans 5-12 1-1 11, Yarbrough 6-15 2-3 15, Burton 2-11 4-4 8, Napier 4-12 0-0 11, Davis 1-6 0-0 2, Barber 0-1 0-0 0, Shaw 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 27-82 9-13 69.
Clark Co. 16 24 25 18—83
Lafayette 16 16 10 27—69