July 13th, 2017

Year in review: Boys' basketball

Block_0 conor revell

Conor Revell

Staff Writer


Year in review: Boys' basketball
Trinity's Jacob King looks to make a play against St. Xavier / file photo

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network chronicles the 2016-17 sports year in review. We will bring you every sport, every season, and every team’s season ending results in a capsule until we're finished. Today, we look back at boys’ basketball.

DeSales (18-13) – One year after their remarkable Cinderella run, the Colts fed off that momentum and made it out of the 22nd District Tournament for a fourth straight season.

In the first round of the Sixth Region Tournament, the Colts stormed out of the gate and had top ranked Fern Creek in a 28-16 hole early in the second quarter and still had a 32-21 advantage with 5:32 left before halftime. But Fern Creek scored 10 straight points and finished the quarter outscoring the Colts 16-4 to lead 37-36 at halftime.

Fern Creek ended the Colts season with an 82-68 victory and eventually won the Sixth Region title and advanced to the state semifinals.

"I think if we couldn't have gotten a few more whistles (fouls called on Fern Creek) we'd have had a seven or eight point lead,” Crews said. “I honestly think the way the referees didn't call stuff in the second quarter is why they got back in the game."

It was a heartbreaking way to end the season. The Colts had lost in overtime to Doss in the district final just the week before.

"I wish we would have had 20 wins,” Crews said. “But we should be proud of the season we had. When you lose your last game in the tournament you want to feel like you gave your best effort. I don't know how anyone could not feel good about the way we showed up and competed. They played their rear ends off."

Jaxon Burgess led the Colts averaging 19.2 points per game while Austin Black (11.9) and Sam Weining (13.3) also played key roles on the wing. Travis Seibert (7.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game) was the Colts go-to-guy down low.

Holy Cross (15-15) – It was an interesting season for the Cougars. Head coach Mike Durham stepped down unexpectedly during the holiday break and longtime assistant Kent Foushee was named head coach.

But at the end of the day the season was memorable as Holy Cross won their first All “A” Classic Sixth Region title since 2014. Their trip to All “A” State was short losing to Lexington Christian in the first round.

“Two years ago we had great leadership but we weren’t as talented even though we made it to regionals,” Foushee said after winning the regional title in All “A”. “Last year’s team Nick Hickey was our leader but the team was extremely young and the talent hadn’t developed yet. This year’s team has great leadership in five seniors, they work hard every day, and they have talent.”

Holy Cross won their first postseason game in the 21st District Tournament quarterfinals before being ousted by Valley in the semifinals.

“I think the program, where it is at now, we have the ability to take a couple of steps forward and have some really good years to follow, and I think a lot of that was our seniors,” said Foushee. “They went through a lot with the coaching change at midseason, but they were absolutely the best leaders I could ask for. They took the team and said ‘we’re going to roll with it’. I really felt like we played good basketball the second half of the year.”

Chase Phillips (9.6 points per game) and Cooper Scott (6.9 points) did most of the damage for the Holy Cross offense.

Ethan Driskell, a six-foot-nine rising senior, was a force to be reckoned with down low and averaged 6.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

DeShawn Ellis, Jarren McDonald, and Ethan Short each averaged over six points per game for the Cougars.

St. Xavier (19-12) – The Tigers had an up and down year one year after their memorable run to the Seventh Region title game with star Connor McCune. But McCune went to Rollins and the Tigers had to learn to play without their stud.

At times, life was hard. The Tigers suffered a 26 point loss to Covington Catholic while other times they shined winning three of their four Christmas Break games in Florida and beating Male by 24 points in the regular season.

But the Tigers saw their season come to a close when they lost to Male in the 26th District title game and then drew Trinity and lost in the first round of the Seventh Region Tournament.

“They came out with a little more intensity, a little more competitive championship spirit than we did and I think that showed throughout the first half,” St. Xavier head coach Kevin Klein said after their season ending loss to Trinity. “I’m just proud of our guys. We kept battling, kept fighting. We wanted our seniors to go out on a better note, but just proud of the way we kept hanging and fought to the end.”

However, the future is bright. Freshman Junior Taylor (8 points per game) and junior forward Pierce Kiesler (16.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game) shined early and often. The Tigers should be of the most competitive Seventh Region teams next season.

Trinity (29-4) – Trinity was ranked as one of the best teams in Kentucky all-season and had the report card to prove it.

The Shamrocks won the prestigious King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic for the second time in school history, won the decorated Arby's Classic in Bristol, Tennessee, and was the runner-up in the Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament.

“I’m so proud of my guys,” Trinity head coach Mike Szabo said after winning the KOB. “It’s a championship and our jersey goes up on the wall. It’s a big deal and that’s why we come so much. We wanted to win. I’m really proud of how our guys played this week.”

But at the end of the day, the Rocks didn’t win when it was mattered. Going into the semifinals of the Seventh Region Tournament, Trinity had yet to play Ballard and their only losses were to Fern Creek (twice) and Oldham County.

Ballard stunned the Trinity crowd and walked away with a resounding 57-41 victory ending the Rocks dream of winning a second straight regional title.

“No questions, their full court press frustrated us,” Szabo said. “They took it to us. They played a lot better than us, they were ready to go, and we didn’t play well. Give them all the credit; they played a great basketball game.”

Jacob King (10.6 points per game), Lukas Burkman (12.4 points), Jay Scrubb (15.4 points), and sophomore superstar David Johnson (10.5 points) led the Rocks all season.  

The loss was stinging as Szabo and the Trinity community says goodbye to David Burton, Brendan and Jacob King, Logan Rose, Burkman, and Harris.

“They’re winners,” Szabo said. “They have been winners in every way – in the classroom, off the court, on the court – they're first class guys. I will always remember these guys.”

 

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