High School Basketball

Cold shooting dooms Lexington Catholic in Traditional Bank Holiday Classic finals loss to Cooper

Lexington Catholic's Zan Payne makes a save while being elbowed by Cooper's Daniel Wasser during the finals of the boys' Traditional Bank Holiday Classic in the Beuter Gymnasium at Lexington Catholic in Lexington, Ky., Friday, December 30, 2016.
Lexington Catholic's Zan Payne makes a save while being elbowed by Cooper's Daniel Wasser during the finals of the boys' Traditional Bank Holiday Classic in the Beuter Gymnasium at Lexington Catholic in Lexington, Ky., Friday, December 30, 2016.

Lexington Catholic was never able to find its offensive rhythm in a 49-45 loss to Cooper in the finals of the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic.

The Knights shot 26.1 percent in the first half and 31.7 percent for the game. The opposite was true for Cooper, which followed up an 11-for-21 first half with an even better second half (9-for-15) to finish 55.6 percent for the night.

“I thought we came out flat and you can’t do that against a good team like that,” LexCath Coach Brandon Salsman said. “Guys were a little weary, but no excuses. ... Hopefully we’ll take something from it, learn and get better."

Adam Kunkel, a junior with offers from Central Arkansas, Samford and Winthrop, took tournament MVP honors after scoring 20 points for Cooper, which was without two starters — Bellarmine signee Sean McNeil and his brother Chris — who were injured earlier in the tournament.

“It shows how much we can do,” Kunkel said of Cooper’s ability to finish in the finals without those two. “It hows deep we are and how every guy cares about this program.”

Luke Johnson, led Lexington Catholic with a game-high 24 points, had a game-tying three-point attempt hit back iron with about 30 seconds left in the game. Zan Payne finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for the Knights.

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

Cooper 49, Lexington Catholic 45

Cooper (9-3) — Hendrix 5, Kunkel 20, Ollier 5, Runion 2, Walters 9, Wasser 8.

Lexington Catholic (8-6) — TC Price 1, Johnson 24, Scott 5, Payne 13, Whitman 2.

Cooper

12

13

10

14

49

Lexington Catholic

6

13

13

13

45

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