High School Basketball

DeSales ousts LCA from boys' All 'A'

LCA's Patrick Nickodem, left, and Austin Bundy pressured Brandon Brooks, who led DeSales with 15 points.
LCA's Patrick Nickodem, left, and Austin Bundy pressured Brandon Brooks, who led DeSales with 15 points. TIM WEBB

RICHMOND — A day after ending a streak of five consecutive first-round losses, Lexington Christian came tumbling from its new summit Friday.

DeSales sent LCA packing, 50-39, in the quarterfinals of the Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic in McBrayer Arena.

"Whenever we play teams that play us man-to-man — Catholic, Tates Creek, some of the others — we've had trouble with our offense," LCA Coach Tommy Huston said. "It's been our Achilles' heel all year, is getting open shots against a good man-to-man team.

"Today, we missed a lot of good, open shots early when we did get some. And then, after that, we kind of lost our poise a little bit. We rushed; we didn't take great shots. We've just got to go to work before district gets here and see if we can straighten up our offense and get some good looks because we've got a good basketball team here."

Brandon Brooks led DeSales (10-13) with 15 points. Corbin Maynard added 12.

John Mingus, coach of the Colts, said he thought rebounds and turnovers would be keys.

DeSales, led by Jake Sliter with eight, outrebounded LCA 27-26. More impressive was the turnover battle, won by the Colts 13-5 — five errors by five different players and only one in the second half.

"We took care of it," Mingus said. "We've got really good guard play. We get beat up a lot back home in our region (6), but they compete."

LCA (14-9) got 22 points and 10 rebounds from Taylor Barnette, who played all 32 minutes. He shot 9-for-17 from the floor, including 4-for-8 from long range.

Trailing 28-14 at halftime, Barnette hit back-to-back three-pointers to trigger a 9-1 start to the second half. The other three came via a bomb by Tyler Harville.

"I was (feeling it) a little bit," Barnette said. "But we lost the game, and I hate losing. It sucks, so it doesn't really matter if I hit those or not. We still lost."

DeSales led 33-24 through three quarters.

Barnette scored the first four points of the fourth to bring LCA to within five, 33-28. That was as close as the Eagles would come, though.

"We've been used to it the whole year — teams have made a run at us," Maynard said. "As the season has been going along, we're doing a little bit better, but we still need to work on that."

DeSales never trailed. After ties at 2 and 4, the Colts ran off seven points in a row.

The Colts shot 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) from the field in the first half to LCA's 5-for-21 (23.8 percent).

Second half, that turned around as LCA went 8-for-15 (53.3 percent) to DeSales' 4-for-18 (22.2 percent). It was too late, though, as the Colts kept control by sinking 14 of 20 second-half free throws.

"Give DeSales a lot of credit," Huston said. "They're a tremendously well-oiled team. They run their offense, they're hard to take the ball away from, and they play very unselfishly."

Huston is confident his team will be ready for the next (district) tournament.

"They don't quit," he said. "They play hard, and I appreciate their effort every time they get on the floor."