High School Basketball

LexCath boys bolt to big lead then weather LCA rally

Scott Schuette laid in two of his game-high 32 points. The Lexington Catholic senior made six three-pointers. "He just lit us up," LCA Coach Tommy Huston said.
Scott Schuette laid in two of his game-high 32 points. The Lexington Catholic senior made six three-pointers. "He just lit us up," LCA Coach Tommy Huston said.

When Lexington Catholic bolted to a 20-point lead over Lexington Christian Academy in the first half in boys' district basketball Thursday night, maybe the Knights started daydreaming about Hawaii, where they'll play in a holiday tournament next week.

Something happened because it was a different game in the second half. Host LCA rattled Lexington Catholic and rallied to within five points.

The Knights eventually regrouped and pulled away to a 63-48 victory to stay undefeated after five games.

Lexington Catholic Coach Brandon Salsman didn't think his players let thoughts of sun, surf and palm trees distract them when their advantage grew to 33-13. Rather, it was the quality of the competition.

"We know our district is the toughest in the state," he said. "LCA is a dangerous team because they can get hot from the three-point line.

"We faced some adversity tonight and I thought we handled it well."

Nobody handled it better than Scott Schuette. The Knights' 6-foot-4 senior had a career-high 32 points, including six three-pointers.

Schuette, like his coach, dismissed the notion that Hawaii clouded the team's focus.

"I just think we lost our concentration a little bit," he said. "We had to continue to respect (LCA) because they could start knocking down shots.

"We never felt the momentum was out of our hands, though. We're a pretty confident team."

LCA closed the gap to five for the last time at 41-36 early in the fourth quarter. The Knights took control after that, thanks in part to Schuette's sixth three that put them ahead 51-38.

"Scott had an awesome game; he just lit us up," LCA Coach Tommy Huston said.

Lexington Catholic senior Taylor Martin contributed 11 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

Craig Floyd, a 6-5 junior who'll be counted on to give the Knights an inside presence, hit all seven of his shots and had 15 points.

"Craig's coming along really well," Salsman said. "He's going to be a monster by the end of the season."

LCA's strong suit this year is supposed to be its shooting, as it showed in the pre-season. But the Eagles opened as cold as the weather Thursday night, missing 17 of their first 20 shots, and they were 0-for-9 from three-point range in the first half.

It took LCA more than five minutes to get its first points. That allowed Lexington Catholic to jump to a 15-0 lead.

LCA took more than five minutes to score in the second quarter, too, which put them in the deep halftime hole.

LCA star Taylor Barnette finally found his left-handed stroke and drilled three threes in the third quarter to spark the comeback. The 6-2 senior finished with 22 points and nine rebounds.

"I liked the heart we showed in fighting back," Huston said.

Tyler Harville and Max Barjuca had 17 points between them off the bench for the Eagles.

Lexington Catholic (4-0) — Schuette 11-17 4-4 32, Martin 4-7 2-4 11, Floyd 7-7 1-2 15, Avare 0-3 0-0 0, Muncie 0-1 0-0 0, Beckham 0-1 2-2 2, Porter 0-2 0-0 0, Keller 0-0 1-2 1, Woomer 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 22-39 12-16 63.

Lexington Christian (2-3) — Barnette 6-16 7-8 22, Helton 1-4 1-2 3, Harville 4-10 0-0 9, Nickodem 1-2 0-0 2, Lannertone 0-1 0-0 0, Staton 2-2 0-2 4, Barjuca 3-6 2-4 8, Telser 0-2 0-0 0, Duncan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-44 10-16 48.

Lexington Catholic 15 18 8 22—63

Lexington Christian 7 6 21 14—48