LAKE CHARLES — The No. 3 Lafayette Christian basketball team earned its first berth in a state final with a 72-59 victory against second-seeded Arcadia on Wednesday in the second Class 1A semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Top 28 tournament in the Burton Coliseum.
After a slow start to the contest, the Knights used a second-half rally behind juniors Jacob and Kalob LeDoux and freshman Greg Williams to run away from the Hornets.
“We withstood that punch in the first half, and we came out to the second half and made some adjustments, and it paid off for us,” Lafayette Christian coach Byron Starks said. “I just told our guys to stay patient and do what we do and eventually the ball would fall our way.”
Kalob LeDoux led the Knights with a game-high 30 points and seven rebounds, while his brother, Jacob, contributed 16 points. Williams added 13 points.
“I began feeling more confident with my shot (in the second half),” Kalob LeDoux said. “I didn’t shoot much in the first half, so I needed to make it up in the second half.”
The Hornets put together a balanced offensive performance with three players scoring in double digits. Arcadia senior Eric Brown led the way with 15 points, followed by sophomore Anthony Boston with 13 and junior Danquarian Fields with 10.
Lafayette Christian struggled offensively in the first half and went to the locker room trailing Arcadia 28-24.
“We did a great job in the first half of slowing (Lafayette Christian) down by playing zone and matching up out of our zone,” Arcadia coach Marcus Jackson said. “They weren’t able to get to the speed that they normally want to play.”
But the Knights came out in a flurry in the third quarter, starting it on an 8-0 run to take the lead and never looking back on their way to a period in which they shot 75 percent from the field and outscored the Hornets 29-12.
Lafayette Christian never trailed after taking the lead, and coasted to a spot its first title game in program history.
“In the second half, (Starks) went to a 1-2-2 zone trap, and it caused us problems,” Jackson said. “When we made some early turnovers, they got in a rhythm and they never looked back. Their shooters got going and they made a lot of good shots.”
The win earned the Knights a shot at the title against No. 1 Madison Prep, the team that eliminated them in the Class 1A semifinals last year.
Starks said the opportunity to play against the team that beat them last year gives the Knights a bit of extra incentive going into the final game.
“If you’re a true competitor, then it does,” Starks said. “We all play this game to compete. These guys go in every day wanting to play the best.
“We played some of the best competition in the state this year, and it will be fitting that Madison Prep is the top of our class.”
The showdown between Lafayette Christian and Madison Prep for the Class 1A title will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Burton Coliseum.
“We just have to match (Madison Prep’s) intensity and don’t let them going,” Jacob LeDoux said. “We have to play strong defense, keep it to a close game and play our best.”