LAKE CHARLES — Sometimes it’s wise to expect the unexpected. Arcadia did.
The payoff came in the form of a stunning 54-47 victory over top-seeded Lafayette Christian in a Class 1A semifinal that concluded Thursday’s action at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Top 28 tournament.
“It just wasn’t our night,” Lafayette Christian standout Jacob LeDoux said. “Things weren’t going our way.”
It was the third upset of a top seed over the last two days. Class 4A St. Thomas More and 3A Peabody lost on shots in the final seconds.
The loss for LCA was one those in the stands saw coming. It started in the second quarter, when fourth-seeded Arcadia (25-5) rallied to take a 26-21 halftime lead.
Arcadia trailed only once after taking the lead. A layup by LeDoux gave LCA (31-4) a 46-45 lead with 1:14 remaining.
Instead of folding, the Hornets forced turnovers and relied on the free-throw shooting of Travious Fielding, who made 9 of 12 fourth-quarter free throws and scored a game-high 24 points.
“Coach (Marcus Jackson) talked me through it and told me to take my time,” Fielding said. “He told me to take six to eight seconds before each shot. And take deep breaths. I was able to knock them down.”
Poise and persistence helped power the Hornets, who face No. 3 Southern Lab (26-7) in the 1A title game set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Burton Coliseum. The win was sweet for an AHS team that had lost in the semifinals the past three years. Arcadia can also sweep boys/girls 1A state titles with one more win.
“We are scrappy,” Jackson said. “I told my guys it’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the fight in the dog, and they came out and fought tonight.”
Danquarian Fields added 18 points, while Anthony Boston Jr. contributed 10 for the Hornets. Kalob LeDoux led Lafayette Christian with 14 points and twin Jacob LeDoux added 10.
“Hats off to Arcadia, they came out and played a tough game tonight,” Lafayette Christian coach Byron Starks said. “They played strong for 32 minutes. Through a loss there’s a tendency to look at it from the negative side of it. We know life goes on. These guys gave their all.
“It just didn’t fall our way tonight. We didn’t hit some shots. We got outplayed and got outhustled at the end of the day.”
It looked like a Lafayette Christian runaway early. The Knights scored the first nine points and led 12-3 before Arcadia asserted itself.
The Hornets scored eight of the final 12 points in the opening period and trailed 16-11.
Those expecting an LCA surge in the second quarter saw just the opposite. Arcadia turned the tables by outscoring the Knights 15-5.
Corey Russell Jr. gave the Hornets a 22-21 lead with less than two minutes left in the half. By the time the half ended, Arcadia had put together an 11-0 run. A dunk by Fields just before the buzzer gave the Hornets a 26-21 lead. Fields scored 16 points in the first half on 6-for-10 shooting from the field.
The pace slowed in the third quarter, but Arcadia managed to keep the lead just out of LCA’s reach. It was 33-29 going into the fourth quarter. The Hornets led by as much as eight points in the fourth quarter.
Two free throws by Fields gave Arcadia the lead for good with 58.3 seconds left.