High School Basketball

Tates Creek boys beat Lafayette

Earlier this week, Tates Creek had to replace a rim that was busted during pre-game warm-ups in the district tournament.

The way the Commodores crashed the glass in winning the boys' 43rd District title Friday night, they might need to order new backboards, too.

Tates Creek's strong rebounding was a big factor as it countered Lafayette's quickness with muscle, beating the Generals 59-48 in front of a near-capacity crowd.

It was the Commodores' 10th win in a row and first district title in six years.

"I'm so proud of our guys," Coach Wayne Breeden said. "We had a game plan and everybody did a great job with it and gave a super effort.

"We were able to make plays at the end to finish it off and walk away proud district champions."

This was the fourth time these rivals met this season. Lafayette won two of the first three, using its athleticism to blow by the Commodores.

But 11th-rated Tates Creek took the wind out of the Generals this time around with a defense that had them standing and shooting instead of streaking to the basket.

"We wanted to stop their fast break and push 'em back to the three-point line, and when they missed we got all the rebounds," said 6-foot-3 junior Marcellus Barksdale.

Breeden agreed.

"I thought all our guys did a great job blocking out, and a big key was our rebounding."

The Commodores had a 42-26 edge on the boards. Barksdale snagged 14 rebounds while Ryan Fucci and Miles Potter had eight apiece.

"They killed us on the boards. We didn't rebound at all," Lafayette Coach Greg Coldiron said. "We didn't do a lot of things. We didn't guard, and we didn't attack like the last time we played them.

"We settled for threes, and that's not our game."

It might have been different if the Generals had hit a few more threes. They were 4-for-21 (19 percent).

Besides being the better rebounding team, Tates Creek was the better finisher, too.

The Commodores outscored Lafayette 14-5 over the last 2:50, and cashed 10 of 12 free throws in that span. For the game, Tates Creek hit 23 of 27 foul shots compared to Lafayette's 4-for-6.

Fucci, a 6-2 junior guard, hit 10 of 12 from the line on his way to 19 points. Potter, a 6-5 senior, was 6-for-6 and had 14 points. Sophomore Darius Gibson was 5-for-5 and had seven points and four assists.

Domonique Hagans led Lafayette with 16 points and 10 rebounds. John Burton had 11 points. Mike Walker added 10 points and five rebounds.

Coldiron had no explanation for his team's performance, which didn't resemble its stunning semifinal upset of No. 6 Lexington Catholic.

"Sometimes kids have a letdown after a big win," he said. "But that's no excuse.

"The only good thing coming out of this is I hope we play them one more time (in the region finals)."

The last time Tates Creek won the district, it beat Lafayette in the finals. The Generals bounced back to win the region.

Pairings for the region will be drawn Saturday. The tournament is scheduled to begin Wednesday in EKU's McBrayer Arena.

LAFAYETTE (20-6) — Yarbrough 3-10 0-0 7, Napier 0-5 0-0 0, Hagans 8-14 0-2 16, Walker 4-16 0-0 10, Burton 4-13 2-2 11, Davis 1-2 0-0 2, Shaw 0-3 2-2 2 2. Totals 20-63 4-6 48.

TATES CREEK (20-6) — Fucci 4-10 10-12 19, Barksdale 3-11 1-2 8, Gibson 1-3 5-5 7, Garner 2-6 0-0 4, Daugherty 2-2 0-0 4, Potter 4-5 6-6 14, Ingram 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 17-38 23-27.

Lafayette 4 14 16 14—48

Tates Creek 10 14 14 21—59

All-tournament: Ryan Fucci (MVP), Marcellus Barksdale, Miles Potter of Tates Creek; Domonique Hagans, Mike Walker of Lafayette; Branden Burdette of LCA; Jaylen Beckham of Lexington Catholic; William Gary of Dunbar.

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