Clark County

Clark County boys outduel Lexington Catholic 71-63

Clark's 6-foot-6 senior center Jaylen Daniel slammed over Patrick Keller to tie the game at 14 following Catholic's early 11-1 run.
Clark's 6-foot-6 senior center Jaylen Daniel slammed over Patrick Keller to tie the game at 14 following Catholic's early 11-1 run.

Tuesday was a night to go old school in the old school.

With Lexington Catholic's main gymnasium being prepared for a fund-raising activity, the Knights moved down the hall to the court that was their home a decade ago.

What ensued was an old-fashioned nail-biter as No. 6 Clark County dealt the third-ranked Knights a 71-63 loss.

Both coaches appreciated what they saw.

"That was a fun one, wasn't it?" Catholic's Brandon Salsman said. "Two great teams going at it for 32 minutes. ... They're a great team and they've got some senior leaders that are poised to win."

Exactly, Cardinals Coach Scott Humphrey said.

"Not so much that we won is how we won," he said. "Our kids didn't get rattled."

Vinny Zollo, the 6-foot-9 senior who is headed to Western Kentucky, led Clark (20-4) to its 11th consecutive win with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Jaylen Daniel, a 6-6 senior, added 18 points, six boards, three assists and three steals.

Corey Rogers, a 6-5 senior who a day earlier was considered doubtful because of a sinus infection, came off the bench to score 14 points.

Humphrey praised those players as well as Robbie Stenzel, a 6-4 senior bound for Eastern Kentucky. He finished with seven points, four rebounds and four assists.

"I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a player anywhere in the state playing better than Robbie has from January until now," the coach said. "He has flat taken over and turned into a basketball player. He only scored seven tonight, but defensively, rebounding, running the club and wanting the ball late, that was exactly what we needed to get out of here with a win."

Catholic (17-5) was paced by Taylor Martin's 19 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Seth Beckham was next with 15 points. Craig Floyd led the Knights in rebounds, matching his point total of eight.

Martin scored the first four points and Beckham had the last five in an 11-1 start.

Clark County responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead. Zollo scored the first four, Beckham the next five and Rogers the final two.

"That shows the experience of our team," Zollo said. "I think we're able to know that our run's going to come. Obviously, at home with all the momentum, they came right out of the gate, gave us a pretty good punch to the mouth. But at the same time, we were able to react, go to what we do best — pound it inside, get great play out of Jaylen and our guards, go in and do what we do, and execute."

The Cardinals, up 39-29 at halftime, pushed the lead to 46-33 when Daniel drained a three-pointer midway through the third quarter.

"Coach always talks to us about being poised and just going out there, just playing," Daniel said.

However, Catholic closed the quarter with a 12-2 run to pull to within 48-45.

Catholic, which made four of its eight three-pointers in the fourth quarter, twice pulled to within a point, the last time at 61-60 on Floyd's trey with 2:05 left.

Clark County went 8-for-9 in the last two minutes to keep the Knights at bay.

CLARK CO. (20-4) Purvis 11, Zollo 19, Daniel 18, B. Stenzel 0, R. Stenzel 7, Rogers 14, Moore 2. Totals 23-51 24-27 71.

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (17-5) Floyd 8, Woomer 8, Martin 19, Beckham 15, Schuette 11, Porter 2. Totals 22-55 11-15 63.

Clark Co 18 21 9 23—71

Lexington Catholic 19 10 16 18—63