Lafayette beats Tates Creek, stays unbeaten

Greg Coldiron, in his first season as basketball coach of the Lafayette boys, had an idea what might unfold when Tates Creek visited Tuesday.

"I told our kids that somebody would have an emotional start to this game," he said, "and after a while emotions are gone and you've just got to play."

Coldiron was correct.

After Justin Daughtery opened the scoring for Tates Creek, Lafayette scored 14 in a row en route to an 80-72 victory.

The coach said he was "lucky" to have the team with the hot start and "very fortunate to win tonight. We beat a really good ball club."

Five Generals scored in double digits, led by super sub John Burton's 23.

"Coming off the bench, just throw a lot of energy coming out there," said Burton, a 6-foot-1 senior who shot 3-for-4 from three-point range. "We're playing hard, we're working hard in practice.

"Everybody was doubting us a little bit. But we came out here to stand up and let everybody know we're here to compete, too."

The Generals' student section rushed the floor after their team improved to 5-0.

Mike Walker led Lafayette's starters with 17 points and five assists. Tanner Napier had 11 points. Domonique Hagans and reserve Eric Shaw netted 10 each. Hagans also grabbed seven rebounds.

Tates Creek (4-2) rode on the backs of juniors Ryan Fucci and Marcellus Barksdale.

Barksdale, 6-4, totaled 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Fucci, 6-2, netted 21 points and seven rebounds.

The Commodores were hurt by 23 turnovers and a 13-for-24 effort at the free-throw line.

Lafayette, with 15 turnovers, had a 26-15 advantage in points off of errors.

"That's the sort of thing we have to do," Coldiron said. "We're not real big, so we have to cause some turnovers."

Lafayette's lead was 11, 31-20, midway through the second period.

With four different players scoring, Creek made a 10-0 run to close within a point.

But the Commodores never could pull even.

Walker's half-court shot at the end of the half gave Lafayette a 39-34 edge.

Creek twice had chances to pull even in the second half.

The first, Braxton McFarland made one of two free throws to trim Lafayette's lead to 46-45.

The second, Daughtery missed a pair to leave the Generals on top 68-66.

Lafayette scored the next six points on put-backs by Burton and Hagans, plus a fast-break layup by Shaw.

Tates Creek came no closer than six points from there.

"We have to take this and learn from this," said Wayne Breeden, coach of the Commodores. "Learn to value the basketball. And, if you're going to win at home or on the road, you're going to have to make free throws."

TATES CREEK (4-2) — Gibson 1, Fucci 21, Barksdale 26, Daughtery 6, Garner 4, McFarland 5, Potter 9. Totals 28-52 13-24 72.

LAFAYETTE (5-0) — Yarbrough 5, Napier 11, Hagans 10, Walker 17, Davis 4, Burton 23, Shaw 10. Totals 30-60 12-18 80.

Tates Creek 16 18 16 22 — 72

Lafayette 23 16 16 25 — 80

Three-point goals — TC 3-8; Laf 8-18.