MOUNT STERLING — Tates Creek was in a zone Wednesday night — figuratively and literally.
The combination helped the Commodores knock off previously undefeated Lafayette 51-49 in the Gateway Holiday Classic finals at Montgomery County.
Marcellus Barksdale, a 6-foot-4 junior, led Creek with 18 points and seven rebounds, playing all 32 minutes. Fellow all-tourney picks Ezra Garner and Ryan Fucci combined for 19 points and 16 rebounds.
"We just were able to make a lot of plays down the stretch when they counted," Barksdale said. "They made a run, but we were able to hold our ground, I guess."
The Commodores (7-5), who lost 80-72 at Lafayette on Dec. 15, played zone defense all the way.
"And usually that's what we want," said Greg Coldiron, coach of the Generals (11-1). "We've shot the ball well all year. We felt like we could tonight. We didn't attack it like we should, but it's something we'll learn from."
Lafayette shot 1-for-11 from three-point range in the first half, 5-for-20 overall.
"I don't know if we were daring them (to shoot)," Creek Coach Wayne Breeden said. "I think we did a pretty good job of being in position to contest a shot, and that's what we were thinking."
The Commodores penetrated and pounded on offense. With no three-pointers, Creek held a 34-22 edge in the paint, 17-9 on second chances.
A 13-0 Creek run turned a 12-6 deficit into a 19-12 lead. Barksdale scored six, Fucci four, Darius Gibson three.
Lafayette rallied to within 23-21 late in the half. But Creek scored the last four of the half and the first eight of the second half to lead 35-21.
Lafayette trailed 37-27 at the end of three quarters.
"When you have two competitive teams that are city rivals like we have, we know there was going to be a run," Breeden said. "We didn't make some free throws, and Lafayette just kept coming at us. But our guys somehow found a way to win."
Mike Walker, who led the Generals with 22 points and eight rebounds, opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back threes. His 15-footer brought the Generals to within six, 41-35, with 4:53 left.
Domonique Hagans scored seven of his nine points in the last 4:14. The last of those, a layup off of a steal, tied the game at 46 with 1:33 left.
After two Barksdale free throws, Lafayette took a 49-48 lead on a D'Angelo Yarbrough trey with 46 seconds left.
Barksdale was called for a charge with 31 seconds left.
In a full-court press, though, Justin Daughtery intercepted a pass under Creek's basket and laid the ball in for a 50-49 lead with 25 seconds left. Gibson added a free throw at :10.5.
Walker had two shots to tie, one from the top of the key and a shorter try from the left wing. Both hit iron.
LAFAYETTE (11-1) — Yarbrough 5, Walker 22, Hagans 9, Napier 2, Davis 6, Burton 2, Shaw 3. Totals 20-49 4-7 49.
TATES CREEK (7-5) — Gibson 6, Daughtery 4, Barksdale 18, Fucci 9, Garner 10, Potter 4. Totals 21-47 9-18 51.
Lafayette 12 9 6 22 —49
Tates Creek 12 15 10 14—51