Lafayette's boys' basketball team did something Tuesday night that hadn't been done in almost a quarter of a century.
The Generals kept Lexington Catholic from reaching the boys' region tournament for the first time since 1986 by beating the No. 6 Knights 62-56 in the 43rd District semifinals at Tates Creek.
How did Lafayette pull off the stunning upset?
"Heck, I don't know," said Greg Coldiron, the Generals' first-year head coach. "Our kids play with lot of passion and a lot of heart, and they sure showed it tonight."
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Lafayette had lost to Lexington Catholic five times in a row by an average of 25 points over the last few years, and the two-time defending region champion Knights came into the district on an 11-game win streak, including a victory over No. 1 Scott County.
But Lafayette out-quicked the Knights, who were plagued by turnovers and foul trouble most of the night.
Domonique Hagans was the Generals' catalyst. The 6-foot-2 senior streaked for 23 points and nine rebounds.
Was he surprised Lafayette pulled the shocker?
"A little bit," Hagans said. "But Coach (Greg Coldiron) had a magnificent game plan, and we pulled it off. Great defense and great execution on the offensive end."
Also coming up big for Lafayette were Dee Yarbrough (12 points, four steals), Mike Walker (10 points, four rebounds, three assists), and John Burton (nine points).
"Our depth really helped, we don't have a drop-off when we bring people off the bench," Coldiron said. "Our quickness was an advantage, too."
Lexington Catholic knew it was in for a battle when Lafayette forced it into 17 turnovers in the first half.
Still, the Generals trailed 25-24.
The Knights opened a seven-point lead in the third quarter, but they couldn't widen the margin. Part of the problem was that three starters — Jaylen Beckham, Taylor Martin and Tanner Peurach — each picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter.
Lafayette took full advantage. Walker converted a three-point play to open the last period, nudging the Generals into a 44-42 lead.
They would never trail again.
Eric Shaw, a football star, was a big contributor down the stretch. Not only did he score six points in the fourth quarter, his defense on 6-foot-8 Peurach was huge.
"(Shaw) came in and made a difference," Lexington Catholic Coach Brandon Salsman said.
The Knights were led by Beckham's 22 points and four rebounds. Seth Beckham, Jaylen's older brother, had 11 points and five rebounds.
The Generals' quick guards gave the Beckhams trouble, however. They combined for 18 of the Knights' 26 turnovers.
"Lafayette's athleticism gave us problems," Salsman said. "And they did a good job on (Peurach) inside.
"It all starts at the top, though. We may have been a little complacent, and that's my fault."
Lafayette advances to Friday's district finals against the winner of Wednesday's Tates Creek-Paul Laurence Dunbar semifinal.
Coldiron will try to get his Generals back to earth before then, but even he admitted knocking off Lexington Catholic in a do-or-die setting was something special.
He called it the second biggest win of his coaching career. The biggest was leading Powell County to victory in the 14th Region championship game in 2003.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (20-5) — S. Beckham 2-8 7-11 11, J. Beckham 8-11 5-7 22, Martin 2-8 1-3 5, Schuette 3-11 0-0 9, Peurach 2-4 2-2 6, Talbott 0-1 1-2 1, Floyd 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-44 16-25 56.
LAFAYETTE (20-5) — Hagans 11-16 1-5 23, Walker 3-7 2-5 10, Yarbrough 5-10 0-0 12, Burton 3-11 3-4 9, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Napier 0-3 2-2 2, Shaw 1-5 4-4 6. Totals 23-53 12-20 62.
Lexington Catholic 10 15 17 14—56
Lafayette 16 8 17 21—62