The holiday season is a wonderful time for family, fun and celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But for basketball players its not all fun and games. Its a period of time to get better and test yourselves against great competition before heading into the meat of your district schedule.
For the LCA boy's basketball team that meant playing 5 ranked teams in two weeks.
First up it was the historic King of the Bluegrass Classic in Louisville and a date with #7 University Heights (and Xavier commit Kyky Tandy), #2 Trinity (and Louisville commit David Johnson) and #18 Madisonville North Hopkins. The Eagles soared to a 12 point victory over UHA, but had a tough shooting night against Trinity and lostby a wide margin. Playing their third game in three days, Madisonville took advantage and defeated the Eagles by 15. All in all, the Eagkes had some good moments and some not so good, but measured itself against some of the best the state has to offer.
Coach Valentine's troops re-0grouped, took three days off for Christmas and then got back to work preparing to host the annual Central Bank Jim Rose Classic last week. First up was Conner - a good team, but the only unranked opponent the Eagles played in either tournament. The Eagle, led by Mr. Everything Kyle Rode, played one of their most complete games of the year and defeated the Cougars 72-38.
That brought about a date with #7-ranked Campbell County last Friday night. In one of the most exciting, well-played high school basketball games you will see, LCA came out on top 53-51. LCA led the game for most of the game but found themselves down 8 with 2:00 left in the 4th quarter. Junior Zeke Grier hit two 3-pointers and, after a Camel turnover, the Eagles scored on an alley-oop reverse layup from senior Baylor Brown to Rode.
After that emotional win, you could excuse the Eagles if they didnt have much left in the tank Saturday night in the championship game against #19 Central Hardin. And at the beginning of the night it appeared the Eagles wouldnt have it - down by as many as 12 in the first quarter. But two seniors made sure that would change - and in a hurry. Will Hacker and Pearce Dalton shot lights-out, while Rode played an unslefish all-around game and Baylor Brown played inspired defense, as they pulled away for a 69-58 win for the championship.
Kyle Rode was named MVP, while Hacker and Dalton received all-tournament honors.
Following up the record-setting 2017-18 campaign, the Eagles are 10-3 (2-0 in the district) as they head into 2019 and the meat of their schedule. Fans need to check them out soon.
Members of the Rose family (including Mrs. Judy Rose) and SVP of Central Bank Steve Kelly, are joined by members of the All-Tournament team after the Championship Game.