Perseverance, a buzzer-beating three-pointer and a boatload of free throws helped Lafayette knock off Scott County 91-86 in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic Saturday afternoon.
"It was wild. It was unbelievable," Lafayette star Jackson Davis said.
Lafayette trailed 74-67 with less than a minute left in regulation, but sophomore Harrison Lane sparked a last-gasp rally by nailng a couple of three-pointers, including a last-second 35-footer that tied it 77-77.
Lane, the son of Transylvania Coach Brian Lane, said when the desperation "sling" left his hands, "it felt pretty good, and I started dancing a little bit."
Lafayette danced to the line in overtime, making nine of 12 free throws to secure the victory. On the afternoon the Generals made 38 of 52 foul shots, including 30 of 42 in the second half.
Davis, a 6-foot-9 senior, stuffed his stat line: 34 points (16 of 19 from the line), 10 rebounds, five steals, four assists and three blocked shots.
Lane and Lucky Jackson each had 18 points. Jajuante Carpenter added 11 points. Carpenter, Lane and Davis all made clutch foul shots in OT.
"Free throws are what won it for us," Davis said. "That and not giving up. The whole time I had no doubt we were going to win that game."
Lane said Lafayette has been "focusing on fighting, and not giving up. It's really big to show today that we can do it at crunch time."
Lafayette Coach Mike Mendenhall III was proud to see his players adopt a never-quit mentality. "We keep telling them to keep fighting, keep fighting, and good things will happen."
Scott County, rated No. 3 in the state in the pre-season, showed its grit in the first half. Lafayette jumped ahead 15-0, but the Cardinals rallied to a 39-29 halftime lead.
Trent Gilbert was his usual stellar self for Scott County. The 6-1 senior guard, who came into the game averaging 30 points, poured in 44. He hit 20 of 20 free throws. (The Cards were 28 of 33 from the line as a team.)
But the Cards were handcuffed by foul trouble. By the time the game went to overtime, starters Raekwon Long, Tony Martini and Matt Murray had fouled out.
"When it went to overtime, we had to be smart enough to get the ball in Trent's hands, and we weren't," Coach Billy Hicks said. "Guys were taking shots that hadn't made a shot all year."
Teddy Ware had 13 points for the Cards. Long, a 7-foot sophomore, had eight points and four rebounds. Martini had seven points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Hicks also bemoaned his team's 27 turnovers: "That's the most we've had in two games combined. We have to be tougher with the ball."
Lafayette won the battle of the boards, too, 33-26.
Hicks was also taken aback by Lafayette's 42 free throws in the second half. "That may be a state record," he said.
"But you gotta give Lafayette credit. They made some big plays, and Lane hit a heck of a shot."
A shot that had Lane dancing, and No. 10 Lafayette advancing to Sunday's semifinals where it will face No. 11 Newport Central Catholic.
LAFAYETTE 91, SCOTT CO. 86 (OT)
SCOTT COUNTY (8-2) — Gilbert 44, Martini 7, Long 8, Ware 13, Jones 8, Crank 5, Kindred 1.
LAFAYETTE (7-4) —
Davis 34, Jackson 18, Lane 18, Jenkins 7, Blakley 3, Carpenter 11.
Scott County 12 27 17 21 9—86
Lafayette 20 9 19 29 14—91