Henry Clay had already lost to Lafayette three times this season.
Senior Jordan Green made sure it didn’t happen a fourth time.
Green made a pair of free throws with 3.1 seconds left, capping a 7-0 run and giving HCHS a 64-63 win over LHS in the opening round of the 11th Region Tournament Friday night at the Frankfort Convention Center.
“This is the best win of my life,” Green said.
Green finished with 20 points and seven rebounds for the Blue Devils (18-12), who had lost the first three meetings with the Generals (18-11) by an average of 15 points. They trailed 63-57 with 55 seconds left this time around before Green started the late run with a 3 then closed it out with the free throws.
“We just basically all came together as one unit,” Green said. “We got the job done tonight.”
HCHS, which has won six of its last seven games, played Woodford County (17-14) in the semifinals Saturday at 8:15 p.m. WCHS beat Madison Southern 82-73 in overtime in the second game Friday.
“We’re just going to come on out and keep playing our game,” Green said.
Six-foot-eight senior Jackson Davis had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Generals, who were ranked in the top 15. The Mr. Basketball finalist had averaged 36 points and 17 rebounds in the previous three meetings between the two teams.
“We had to make someone else beat us,” HCHS coach Daniel Brown said. “I had to change something.”
HCHS trailed for much of the game, including 63-57 with under a minute to go. Green hit a wide-open 3-pointer from the top of the key with 40 seconds left. Then after a turnover on the inbounds, junior Jeremiah Tisdale scored to cut the deficit to one with 25 seconds left.
The Blue Devils then got the ball back after another turnover with 9.1 seconds left. Green got the ball in the corner, drove baseline and was fouled. He made both free throws and the Generals couldn’t get a shot off before time expired.
“It was just simple basketball: take care of the ball, rebound the basketball and keep in front of your man,” Brown said. “That’s what we’re trying to do and we’re just excited to move on.”
Tisdale scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds, senior Campbell Setzer finished with 12 points and junior Colby Barnes added 10 points and six rebounds for the Blue Devils, who shot 50 percent.
Senior Dequise Robinson had 13 points and junior Dontavion Jackson added 10 points off the bench for the Generals.
LAFAYETTE (63) — Taylor Hall 3, Dequise Robinson 13, Lance Blakely 9, Dontavion Jackson 10, Jackson Davis 11, Jajuante Carpenter 3, Harrison Lane 9, Ross Jenkins 5.
HENRY CLAY (64) — Isaiah Tisdale 2, Colby Barnes 10, Campbell Setzer 12, Felix Wilson 3, Jordan Green 20, Jeremiah Tisdale 17.
Woodford Co. 82, Mad. Southern 73 overtime
Madison Southern’s Stacy Burns tied the game with a free throw with two seconds left, sending it into overtime, but Woodford County dominated in the extra period to win 82-73 Friday.
The game was the final first-round contest of the 11th Region Tournament.
Woodford County’s Eli Boggess went 25 for 28 from the foul line and finished with a game-high 43 points.
Madison Southern (13-17) was leading 64-62 with 41 seconds left, but a three-point play by Boggess gave Woodford (17-14) a 65-64 lead with 26 seconds remaining.
The Eagles’ Devante Linville went 1 for 2 from the line to tie the game at 65, but with four seconds left a foul shot by Boggess gave Woodford a 66-65 lead.
Burns was fouled with two seconds left and went 1 for 2 to tie the game at 66.
The Yellow Jackets shot 45 percent while Madison Southern shot 39 percent.
Trevor Huff sored 20 points to lead the Eagles, and Linville grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Woodford held a 33-30 rebounding edge and was led in that category by Colton McCrady with seven boards.
MADISON SOUTHERN (73) — Michael Jefferson 8, Caleb Miller 7, Devante Linville 12, Trevor Huff 20, Tanner Kidwell 10, Stacy Burns 16.
WOODFORD CO. (82) — Keenon Laine 2, Michael Shelton 2, Samuel Souers 16, Grayson Graf 8, Eli Boggess 43, Colton McCrady 4, Sawyer Scandone 5, Zachary Pohlman 2.
Sportswriter Linda Younkin contributed to this report.