Curtis Hubbard completed a go-ahead three-point play and Gary Wilkinson hit a pair of late free throws as the Fighting Irish beat Farmington 46-41 in the Class 4 state semifinals on Friday.
The win sends Lafayette to their first state championship game since 1976. No boys team from St. Joseph has played in a title game since Bishop LeBlond in 1977. The Irish will face defending champion Republic on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.
Xavier Kurth played his usual role in Lafayette's hot start, scoring the team's first 10 points. They jumped out to a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Farmington (21-10), making their first Show-Me Showdown appearance, came back to outscore the Irish 12-5 to clip the deficit to two heading into the locker room.
After one of his best performances in the quartefinal meeting with Grandview, Billy Cook hit just 1 of 9 attempts from beyond the arc. Wilkinson hit the only other three-pointer for Lafayette as he posted 12 points.
Farmington kept it to single digits throughout the third quarter and an Eli Pratte layup gave them a 39-38 lead with 4:20 to go.
Kurth hit a jumper two minutes later to swing the one-point advantage back to Lafayette (25-4), capping off a 20-point, 10-rebound performance for him.
The Knights' leading scorer, Jordan Ankrom, gave his team one more lead before Hubbard's decisive bucket. Ankrom finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
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