Lafayette Christian hands University first loss of season _lowres

Advocate photo by Buddy Delahoussaye-- LCA's Jacob LaDoux (30) drives to the basket pass Cub's Robert Gardner (12) on Friday Dec. 18, 2015.

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 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.