Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tanner Johnson's 24 points lead Lexington Catholic to a 68-64 victory over Lafayette

Lafayette High School, facing a 10-point deficit at Lexington Catholic Thursday night, scored nearly as many points in the fourth quarter (31) as they had in the first three (33).  But it wasn't enough, as the Knights still managed to pull out a 68-64 victory behind 24 points and 5-10 three-point shooting from Tanner Johnson.

The game was locked up for the most part of the first quarter, until Catholic hit two three-pointers at the end of the period to grab a four point lead.  After Dillon Avare's trey, the Knights led 13-9 after the first eight minutes.

Without that last-minute shot from Catholic, Lafayette very well could have taken a lead into halftime.  The Generals outscored the Knights 15-14 in the second quarter, but only after crawling out of a 10-point deficit.  After a converted and-one from Catholic's Jack Whitman, as well as three-pointers from Lafayette's Dequise Robinson and Catholic's Avare, the score was 22-12 with 5:40 remaining before the break.

It was all Lafayette from there, though.  Jackson Davis scored, then assisted on a Lance Blakely basket on the next possession to make it 22-16.  The same tandem scored two more baskets to pull within two points, and Charles Sweat-Washington came through with a putback to tie the game at 24-all with 25 seconds until halftime.

Catholic took the lead into the half, however, after Reese Ryan netted a three-pointer, his only of the night.

The Knights came out of the gates firing to begin the third quarter, outscoring the Generals 17-9. A buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the period from Michael Talbot gave Catholic a 44-33 lead heading into the final eight minutes of the game.

Lafayette cut their deficit to single-digits by the 5:35 mark with a three-pointer from Blakely.  The margin hovered around the eight-to-nine-point range until Trenard Chester's shot from behind the arc made it 63-56. Yet another trey from Lafayette (this time from Nick Trisko) cut the Knights' lead to four points.

Two more three-pointers - one each from Catholic's Johnson and Lafayette's Blakely - maintained that four-point margin. Talbot missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 15 seconds remaining, leading to a score from Lafayette's Davis.  That put the game at 66-64 with seven seconds on the game clock.

Catholic got the ball back, and Talbot was fouled with two seconds remaining.  He made both free throws, setting the final score of 68-64.  A last-ditch half-court shot was no good.

Johnson led all scorers 24 points, and Trisko led Lafayette with 14.  Davis also finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Lafayette:  9  15  9  31  64
Sweat-Washington 5, Chester 12, Robinson 6, Blakely 13, Davis 10, Trisko 14, Evans 4.
Lexington Catholic:  13  14  17  24  68
Talbot 6, Griffin 5, Johnson 24, Whitman 16, Avare 6, Ryan 9, Banahan 2.

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