Boys Basketball: Big fourth quarter leads LCC past Toledo Christian

BOWLING GREEN — LCC has been no stranger to a second-half deficit this postseason.

The T-Birds played under the same circumstances one week ago in the district finals against Marion Local.

On Friday night at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, LCC trailed again heading into the fourth quarter against Toledo Christian just like they did against the Flyers.

But with the help of another brilliant closing effort, LCC secured a 63-60 victory over Toledo Christian and officially punched their ticket to the state tournament in Dayton next week.

Toledo Christian closed out the third quarter on a 10-2 run, culminated by a putback as time expired from Conye Gaston to give the Eagles a 49-48 lead.

Gaston’s shot appeared to be a huge momentum-shifter, but once the fourth quarter started, LCC went on a 7-0 run, led by veterans Billy Bourk and Carson Parker, to take a 55-49 lead.

“That stretch shows how tough-minded our kids are,” LCC coach Sean Powell said. “At that point, there’s nothing we can really tell them. They’re a little down because of our mistakes, but in the fourth quarter, we had to take all of that back. Because of our leadership, we were able to do that.”

Bourk and Parker’s two-man game was the story of the first half, where Parker scored 17 of his team-high 19 points.

“I made some mistakes early in the game not kicking the ball out and he (Carson Parker) let me know about it,” Billy Bourk said. “I can always trust that if I’m doing something wrong, Demarr, Carson, or any of the group of guys that we have will let me know about it. The next time I had the opportunity to kick the ball out, it was to Carson for a three.”

LCC’s entire starting lineup finished the night in double figures. Bourk added 11 points, Willie and Demarr Foster each had 10 and Jordan Priddy finished with 13.

“We all trust each other to be able to knock down shots,” Carson Parker said. “They all happened to come my way in the first half. When they adjusted on me, the shots happened for everyone else. It started early in the game when our guards were penetrating under the basket, getting the ball to Billy, and he was kicking it out to the perimeter.”

Toledo Christian made it a two-point game on three different occasions in the fourth quarter.

With 1:49 to go, Kalon Butler converted a three-point play to cut LCC’s lead to 60-58.

LCC turned the ball over on its next two possessions, a pass that sailed into the bench, followed by a charge called on Willie Foster with 42.6 seconds left. It was Foster’s fifth foul.

Toledo Christian’s best chance to tie the game up was halted when Tyler Criss grabbed an offensive rebound with his foot on the baseline.

When LCC got the ball back, Jordan Priddy broke the press and took the ball all the way to the hoop for a successful three-point play, sending LCC’s half of the Stroh Center into a frenzy.

“Willie made a mistake that younger players make in big games,” Powell said. “He should have sat on the ball a little bit and forced them to foul us, but that might not have been where he was the most comfortable. Jordan is the same way. He’s always aggressive. He made the same play that Willie did, but it went in our favor that time.”

Conye Gaston hit a pair of free throws with one second left on the clock and Toledo Christian got a last-second heave after stealing the inbounds pass, but the shot clanked off the backboard as time expired.

Gaston had a game-high 20 points for the Eagles. He was one of three players in double figures along with Kalon Butler (15 points) and Xandyr Hesson (10 points).

Toledo Christian concluded its season with a record of 26-3.

“That was the best team we played this year by far,” Toledo Christian coach Tyler Boris said of LCC. “They certainly made plays when they had to and we didn’t. Our shooting numbers were below where they needed to be to win a game like this.”

LCC hit 22 of its 42 shots, good for 52 percent from the field. Toledo Christian made 21 of its 54 field goals for 38 percent shooting. The Eagles also held a 32-24 advantage on the boards and won the turnover battle 11-9.

LCC’s first game in Dayton is Friday at 10:45 a.m. against Berlin Hiland. Richmond Heights and Russia meet in the other D-IV semifinal at 2 p.m.

The winners will play in the Division IV State Championship game on Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

LCC 63, Toledo Christian 60

Score by quarters:

LCC 19 15 14 15 — 63

Toledo Christian 23 7 19 11 — 60


Carson Parker 19, Jordan Priddy 13, Billy Bourk 11, Willie Foster 10, Demarr Foster 10, Totals: 22-13-63


Conye Gaston 20, Kalon Butler 15, Xandyr Hesson 10, Silas Mickel 7, Tyler Criss 5, Karter Koester 3, Totals: 21-10-60

Three-point goals: LCC — Parker 2, Priddy 2, D. Foster 2; TC — Butler 3, Gaston 2, Criss 1, Koester 1, Mickel 1.

Records — LCC 27-2; Toledo Christian 26-3

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter at @Lima_Howell