High School Basketball

Stewart has 31 as Blue Devils get revenge

When Henry Clay played Lafayette in boys' basketball nine days ago, the Blue Devils blew an 18-point lead in the last six minutes and lost on a three-point bomb at the buzzer.

Did Devils Coach Daniel Brown remind his team of that debacle before Tuesday night's rematch?

"We didn't say much about it, but I had a little clipping about it and told the guys, 'remember this,' " Brown said.

They remembered.

Henry Clay was 16-for-16 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, and 22-for-23 on the night, and beat the host Generals 87-74.

It was a different story from that Feb. 9 game when shaky free-throw shooting by the Devils helped to fuel Lafayette's comeback.

"They struggled at the line when we played the first time, but they didn't give us a chance to make a run at them tonight," Generals Coach Damon Kelley said.

"This time of year, that's what you've got do to win games. You've got to make free throws to close out wins."

Another difference in the rematch was Prince Stewart.

Henry Clay's senior point guard had 12 points and nine turnovers in the earlier loss to Lafayette. He atoned for that Tuesday night by hitting five of nine three-pointers, scoring 31 points, handing out four assists and committing just one turnover.

"I felt I didn't show up in that first game, especially with all my turnovers," Stewart said. "Coach told me to get that out of my head, be aggressive and play hard."

When Lafayette pulled to within 61-59 with six minutes left, Stewart took over. He had eight points in a 12-2 run as Henry Clay pulled away.

"That's the competitor in Prince," Brown said. "He wasn't pleased with the way he played the first time. Tonight he took it on himself, and he makes us coaches look good when he does that."

Stewart didn't have to go it alone.

T.J. Barnes had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Trey Stewart had 12 points, and Daniel Kiesling added 11 points and nine rebounds.

"I thought our defense was excellent in the second half," Brown said. "We made them take tough shots, and we dominated the boards (33-19)."

After shooting 56 percent in the first half, Lafayette shot 41 percent in the second half.

Mike Walker, who hit the three-pointer to beat Henry Clay the last time, led the Generals with 17 points.

Dee Yarbrough had 15 points, and Micah Miller added 11.

"We have the potential to play with anybody," Kelley said. "But we haven't put four quarters together when we've needed to."

In a nice gesture by both teams, Lafayette senior Deron Linton, who was diagnosed in the pre-season with a heart condition that ended his basketball career, dressed out, and Henry Clay allowed him to score the first basket of the game, after which he went to the bench.

Lafayette, its regular season concluded, will play Lexington Christian in the 43rd District semifinals at Paul Dunbar on Tuesday.

Henry Clay is at home against West Jessamine on Thursday before hosting Bryan Station in the 42nd District semifinals on Tuesday.


HENRY CLAY (16-12) — Stewart 11-18 4-4 31, Barnes 5-6 5-6 15, Kiesling 5-9 1-1 11, Johnson 3-7 2-2 9, Stewart 3-5 6-6 12, Wilder 2-3 4-4 9, Tilford 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-49 22-23 87

LAFAYETTE (9-17) — Walker 6-19 3-4 17, Napier 4-11 0-0 9, Lawless 3-3 0-1 7, Barber 4-4 0-0 10, Miller 4-7 6-9 14, Linton 1-1 0-0 2, Yarbrough 3-7 8-8 15. Totals 25-52 17-22 74.

Henry Clay 18 27 14 28—87

Lafayette 19 19 11 25—74