Lafayette Christian Academy stayed close with previously unbeaten University High throughout Friday night’s highly anticipated matchup and got the surge it needed.
When all was said and done, LCA edged U-High 69-67 to hand the Cubs their first loss at the LCA Sportsplex in the 2015 Showcase Classic tournament.
In a game that featured 12 lead changes — nine in the second half — the Knights came away with the hard-fought victory on its home court when senior guard Kalob LeDoux drove in the lane and hit a contested layup with 7.0 seconds remaining.
U-High attempted a 3-pointer as time expired, but it was tipped and fell short of the rim, sealing the Knights’ victory.
“To play against a team of that caliber is good for our program,” LCA coach Byron Starks said. “That team has a championship pedigree. They withstood every punch we threw at them. They were poised, but we came through in the end, and I told them that is a sign of a championship team, and they did well tonight.”
Kalob LeDoux finished with a game-high 29 points, including 13 of LCA’s 17 points in the fourth quarter, while his brother Jacob LeDoux shot 7-for-8 from the field for 16 points.
LCA’s Caleb Starks also had a big night with 14 points.
“It feels great,” Kalob LeDoux said. “I feel like a lot of people doubted us before we came in. … We just kept fighting and we knew we could win it.”
The Cubs ended the half on an 18-6 run and take a 37-31 lead into halftime.
U-High maintained its lead early in the third quarter until the Knights went on a 10-1 run capped by a Kalob LeDoux 3-pointer that gave LCA a 45-44 lead with 3:42 remaining in the period.
The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter, with eight lead changes in less than three minutes before the Cubs took a 53-52 lead into the final quarter.
The battle continued into the fourth quarter in which neither team led by more than four points until Jalen Johnson converted a putback with 6:30 remaining to give U-High a 58-54 lead.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as Jacob LeDoux hit a difficult reverse layup, followed by a Kalob Ledoux bucket that tied the game at 58 with 5:20 left.
The two teams traded basket until, with less than a minute remaining in the contest, Kalob LeDoux pulled up for a 3-pointer off the dribble that gave the Knights their first lead of the quarter at 67-66.
“I knew I was going to shoot as soon as we got the ball, I just didn’t know how I was going to shoot it,” Kalob LeDoux said. “I just went to the top (of the key) and set it up.”
A foul put Johnson, who had been a perfect 7 for 7 on free throws, at the line. But he missed the back end of his shots, and sophomore Greg Williams grabbed a rebound that gave LCA the ball with 44 seconds left.
The Knights held onto the ball until Kalob LeDoux drove to his left and finished the game-winning layup.
“The defender seemed hesitant to guard me every time I stepped up,” Kalob LeDoux said. “I knew if I faked one way and went the other it would be wide open, so I took the chance.”
The chance paid off, the shot went in and the Knights’ three-year stretch without a loss on their home court continued.
Johnson finished the game with 19 points, and U-High senior forward Wayde Sims led the defending state champion Cubs with 20 points.
Westgate bounced back from its Thursday night 32-point loss to U-High with a 68-41 victory against Rayne in Friday’s opening game.