Twenty-four hours after losing a classic, Tates Creek's boys' basketball team won a clunker.
On Thursday night, the No. 5 Commodores fell to No. 4 Lexington Catholic 46-45 in a drama-filled thriller.
On Friday night, Tates Creek beat No. 13 Henry Clay 53-42 in a brick-filled shooting exhibition that was painful to watch at times.
"It wasn't an artistic piece of work on the basketball court by either team," Commodores Coach Wayne Breeden said.
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"But hey, I'm proud of our guys. To play two tough games back-to-back, and come over here and win is a great statement about ourselves."
Marcellus Barksdale, who had 16 points and 18 rebounds for Tates Creek, put it best: "A win is a win."
Ryan Fucci had 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Commodores. Todd Bradley added eight points and seven rebounds.
Henry Clay, which lost to Tates Creek 50-49 in overtime two months ago, had a recipe for disaster in the rematch.
The Blue Devils couldn't find the basket or a rebound, at least until the last two minutes when they made a futile comeback attempt.
Henry Clay's offensive woes were enormous. It went scoreless for the last four minutes of the first quarter and the last 4:25 of the second.
The Devils managed only one point in the first 6:20 of the third quarter and trailed 29-14. At that stage of the game they were 5-for-33, a frigid 15 percent, and getting pounded on the boards.
"We just didn't have a rhythm tonight," Coach Daniel Brown said. "I don't think it was as much Tates Creek's defense as it was our impatience on offense. We took a lot of bad shots, and we didn't rebound the ball."
The Devils finally heated up and Tates Creek started to wilt in the closing minutes.
Down 48-28 with 2:30 left, Henry Clay finally found its eye from three-point range and hit enough shots to fuel a rally that whittled the deficit to 50-41.
But the comeback ended there.
Brandon Nichols had 12 points. Jordan Green had nine points and six rebounds for Henry Clay, which finished 13-for-55 (24 percent) from the field and was outrebounded 46 to 33.
"We gave it a lot of fight, but that's the way it goes sometimes," Brown said.
Tates Creek didn't exactly have its radar working. It was 17-for-46 (37 percent), and missed 12 of 30 free throws.
Breeden was just glad that his team had a big lead when its legs gave out.
"Fortunately we were far enough ahead when fatigue set in that we were able to hold on," he said.
"But this was good for us. If we have to play back-to-back tough games in the tournament, this will give us the mentality of what our conditioning has to be."
TATES CREEK (16-3) — Fucci6-13 7-15 20, Barksdale 6-14 4-5 16, Gibson 1-7 1-2 3, McFarland 1-5 0-0 2, Bradley 1-3 6-8 8, Mack 1-3 0-0 2, Buford 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 17-46 18-30 53.
HENRY CLAY (15-6) — Kiesling1-7 3-6 5, Stewart 2-8 0-1 4, Kimball 2-9 0-2 5, Nichols 4-13 1-2 12, Green 2-11 4-4 9, Grundy 1-5 0-0 3, Patton 1-1 2-3 4, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-55 10-18 42.
Tates Creek 12 11 7 23—53
Henry Clay 5 8 6 23—42