The Lexington Catholic boys' basketball team leaves Tuesday for a tournament in Hawaii, but the Knights won't have any more fun in paradise than they did on their home court Saturday night.
No. 10 Lexington Catholic rallied to beat No. 11 Scott County 62-54 in a typically tough game between these 11th Region rivals.
"I don't think there's anything better than beating Scott County," senior guard Jarod Griffin said. "We lost to them in the regular season the last two years, so this was a good way our seniors can go out, beating them for the last time on our home floor."
Reese Ryan, who led the Knights with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, had the same take on the victory.
"I don't think there's anything quite like beating Scott County," he said. "This is one of the best rivalries in the state. They're always a great team, and we had to play great to beat them tonight."
Lexington Catholic won in a way Coach Brandon Salsman couldn't have predicted.
"If you'd told me before the game we'd only make two three-pointers and win," I would've called you a liar," he said. "But our senior toughness showed out there."
Scott County led most of the night and was up 49-44 early in the fourth quarter.
That's when the Knights' all-senior starters asserted themselves and went on a 10-0 run that included Griffin's steal and layup that regained the lead at 50-49.
On Scott County's next possession, Coach Billy Hicks was hit with a technical for protesting a non-call when he thought one of his players was fouled. Griffin made the two technical free throws and Lexington Catholic led by at least three points the rest of the night.
Griffin, who finished with 11 points, credited the seniors' experience.
"We've been together since sixth grade so we have a real veteran team," he said. "We just stay composed. We believed in ourselves all night that we could win."
Tanner Johnson, who brought a 23-point scoring average into the game, had only four at halftime but finished with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Point guard Michael Talbott had eight points. Post man Walker Boothe added six points and five rebounds.
The Knights outrebounded Scott County 36-23.
D.J. Jenkins led the Cards with 21 points. Clarion Washington had all of his 11 points in the first half when he was 3-for-3 on threes.
Hicks lamented his team's lack of production inside.
"We're getting better, especially defensively," he said. "But we've gotta get something out of our post guys. We got killed on the boards, and all the points we got inside came on drives."
Hicks, whose team lost at Lexington Christian two nights earlier, is glad his team's next four games are at home before they head to Myrtle Beach after Christmas.
Lexington Catholic, meanwhile, will head to Hawaii with happy thoughts of beating Scott County.
Lexington Catholic 62, Scott County 54
SCOTT COUNTY (2-3)—Jenkins 21, Washington 11, Banks 4, Jones 6, Johnson 7, Hamilton 3, Guyn 2.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (4-2)—Johnson 15, Ryan 16, Griffin 11, Boothe 6, Talbott 8, Morris 4, Whitman 2.
Scott County 15 19 11 9—54
Lexington Catholic 13 15 14 20—62