High School Basketball

Tates Creek edges Henry Clay in city's latest OT thriller

So this is how it's going to be in boys' basketball in Lexington this season.

After Bryan Station edged Lafayette 68-66 in overtime Monday night, 11th Region favorite Tates Creek needed overtime to squeak by Henry Clay 50-49 Tuesday night.

Ryan Fucci hit one of two free throws with 10 seconds left to give the host Commodores a one-point lead.

Fucci then blocked Wes Kimball's driving layup to seal the victory.

"Bryan Station and Lafayette (Monday night), and now this," Tates Creek Coach Wayne Breeden said. "When it's a city game, a neighborhood game, both teams are going to play hard.

"It's going to make for an exciting year of basketball in the city."

Henry Clay Coach Daniel Brown, like Breeden, scouted Monday night's thriller and had a front-row seat for the OT nail-biter at Tates Creek.

"Two great games and two great finishes the first two nights of the season," Brown said. "And both games we had a great atmosphere and good crowds."

Tates Creek, rated seventh in the state in the pre-season, narrowly escaped an upset bid by No. 16 Henry Clay.

But in the end, the Commodores' two senior stars, Fucci and Marcellus Barksdale, overcame poor shooting performances to deliver in the clutch.

Fucci finished with 25 points and five assists. Barksdale had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Henry Clay led 45-41 with just over two minutes left in regulation, but Barksdale hit a pair of free throws, then came up with a steal and a basket to tie it.

It was down to the wire after that.

Henry Clay freshman Jordan Green's rebound basket tied it at 49 with 30 seconds left.

After Barksdale was called for charging, Henry Clay had a shot to win, but Kimball missed a contested three at the buzzer.

Both teams were patient in overtime, and as was the case most of the night, neither could execute their offense when it counted the most.

Henry Clay had the ball inside the last 20 seconds, but Fucci came up with a steal, was fouled and hit the game-winning free throw.

Fucci admitted the Commodores' offense "wasn't in sync. I think it was just first-game rust. We'll fix what needs to be fixed in practice."

Darius Gibson had eight points for the winners, who survived despite shooting 34 percent and making 21 turnovers.

"It comes down to if you make layups and free throws, and we missed enough of both tonight that we were in trouble," Breeden said.

"But I'm proud of my guys. They somehow found a way to win."

Henry Clay was led by Brandon Nichols' 15 points, including 4-for-4 three-point shooting in the first half.

Daniel Kiesling, a 6-6 senior, was strong inside. He had 12 points and nine rebounds. Kimball added seven points and three assists.

Devils freshmen Green and Trey Grundy, both long and lanky, played extensively. Both appear to have promising futures once they get their feel for city competition.

"I hope this will be a learning lesson for all our guys," Brown said. "We can get a lot better, but so can all the teams in the city. It's going to be a fun year."

HENRY CLAY (0-1) Nichols 5-8 1-2 15, Kiesling 5-8 2-2 12, Prewitt 3-5 0-0 6, Stewart 1-6 0-2 2, Kimball 3-12 0-0 7, Green 1-7 0-3 2, Grundy 1-6 3-4 5, Parker 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-53 6-13 49.

TATES CREEK (1-0) Fucci 8-22 9-12 25, Barksdale 3-14 5-7 11, Gibson 2-5 2-2 8, Mack 1-3 0-0 2, Bradley 1-1 1-2 3, Fugate 0-1 0-0 0, McFarland 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-47 18-25 50.

Henry Clay 12 18 4 15 0—49

Tates Creek 18 9 11 11 1—50