January 8th, 2018

Rocks survive Colts upset bid in first round of LIT

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Rocks survive Colts upset bid in first round of LIT
Trinity's Jay Scrubb (white) defends DeSales' Dalton Kelly (orange) / photo by Conor Revell

The DeSales basketball team has a lot to believe in after their performance against Trinity Monday night in the first round of the Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament.

Despite being the No. 16-seed (lowest), the Colts were competitive and the game went down to the wire, but Trinity barely survived with a 62-52 at Valley High.

“DeSales played together, played hard, they deserve a lot of credit,” Trinity assist coach James Torra said. “They were moving the ball and finding the open man and weren’t standing on offense. They were making us run around and we were having a hard time with that tonight and broke down a little bit. DeSales played great and we struggled a little bit.”

Trinity head coach Mike Szabo missed the game due to back issue and Torra, a longtime assistant took over the head coaching duties.

The Colts (8-8) were only down 48-47 going into the final quarter after Dalton Kelly completed a rare four-point point play to close the third quarter.

“We took care of the ball,” DeSales head coach Tom Crews said. “We only had five turnovers and that probably the most important thing we did. That prevented Trinity from being to get on transition. We played well on defense, we did a good job whether we were playing zone or man. Offensively, we shot the ball terrible for us.

“We didn’t play out of our mind, statistically it might have been the worst game we have played all season. That might be because of their length. We didn’t play a great game but we gave the No. 1 team a challenge. This game shows you how important it is to take care of the ball. If you take care of the ball, you pretty much have a chance to beat anybody. I’m happy.”

Keegan Brewer hit a layup to pull DeSales within 50-49 and then the Rocks were able to gain some momentum and close the game with a 12-3 run to survive.

“We made some play down the stretch,Torra said. “We did enough to get the win. DeSales might have gotten a little bit tired and we are advancing.”

Coming into the game, many wondered how the Colts would handle Trinity’s defensive pressure as ball handling has been a concern all season.

“We have been taking care of the ball pretty well as of late,” Crews said. “We have had a couple of games with less than 10 turnovers. It’s a big change from those first five or six games of the year.”

That answered as DeSales only turned the ball over five times limiting the Rocks chances of getting easy buckets.

“We stayed patient and ran the offense,” DeSales’ Dalton Kelly said. “We weren’t in a real rush to get anything going. We took care of the ball and slowed things down and that allowed us to get a few easy buckets and good looks. We didn’t shoot the ball great tonight but when you don’t turn the ball over you can stay in games like this. I believe we played a great game but it didn’t turn out the way we wanted.”

Neither team shot the ball well as Trinity only made 23 of 56 (41.1 percent) from the field including 8 of 23 (34.8 percent) from three-point land and 8 of 11 (72.7 percent) from the foul line.

DeSales made 19 of 48 (39.6 percent) from the field including 5 of 21 (23.8 percent) three pointers and 9 of 13 from the charity stripe.

Stan Turnier was perhaps the best player on the floor and had 17 points to help the Rocks hitting 6 of 9 from the field including a magnificent 5 of 7 from three-point land.

“I’m starting to get my confidence back,” Turnier said. “They were taking away David Johnson and I was figuring out a way to find the open spot and they found me.”

Torra said he changed the game.

“Stan stepped up and played well,” Torra said. “He came through for and those shots were big in the first half for us. You could see it on his face, he was serious tonight. He was locked in and we needed that. We needed somebody to step up and he did that. Good for him.”

Jay Scrubb led all players with 23 points and nailed 8 of 14 from the field despite missing all five of his three-point attempts and hit 7 of 9 from the foul line.

David Johnson added 10 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

Four Colts finished in double figures with Kelly leading the way with 14 points.

“I think coming into the season we were always confident despite starting out rough,” Kelly said. “That start was a wakeup call. These last few games we have been going on a run and multiple wins. This just kind builds off that and we can compete with anybody. This is building on our confidence.”

Sam Weining added points and eight rebounds.

“I this game tells us a lot,” Crews said. “If this game doesn’t make you believe, then I don’t know what will. I think our guys will take this game with them the rest of the season and will build on it. We didn’t play great, but we played solid, and we had a chance to beat the No. 1 team in the state. That’s something to build on.”

Keegan Brewer chipped in 12 points and Matthew Ruckriegel chipped in 10 points.

“I think it was more about us,” Turnier said. “We were play pretty bad defense.”

Trinity will play the Male vs. Valley winner at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Valley High. The winner of that game will be decided at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“We just have to get back to the way were playing,” Torra said. “We have to play with more energy and enthusiasm and play together. We have to give more effort and get that spark back. That’s what we have to get back.”



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