January 16th, 2019

Rocks clean the glass against Male 61-51

Staff Report

Rocks clean the glass against Male 61-51
Trinity advances to the semifinals in the LIT/ photo by Nate Bryan

 By Nate Bryan

The Trinity Shamrocks hit the glass Wednesday night and found themselves closer to another Louisville Invitational Tournament title.

Second-seeded Trinity turned 13 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points as the Shamrocks held off the seventh-seeded Male Bulldogs, 61-51 in the third quarterfinal of the 72nd annual Republic Bank Boys' LIT inside J.C. Cantrell Gymnasium at Valley High School.

"It was a good effort tonight, but I thought we just a few costly turnovers down the stretch," said Trinity coach Mike Szabo. "There's still a lot of room for improvement. But we did some good stuff, too."

Some of that good stuff was on the boards, where the Rocks held nearly a 3-2 advantage. Trinity limited Male (11-6) to six offensive rebounds and eight second-chance points. Only two Bulldogs had more than three rebounds each.

Meanwhile, Louisville signee David Johnson had a game-high 13 rebounds for Trinity. Guard Kamari Kennemore and forward Jamil Hardaway added five boards apiece for the Shamrocks.

"Blocking out and rebounding, that was the key," Szabo said. "That was the thing that we thought would be the difference tonight and I think it was."

Thanks to three offensive rebounds on one possession, the Shamrocks were able to get a fourth-chance three late in the game to keep Male at bay.

"That was big. That was a big possession," Szabo said.

Guard Tyren Moore led Male with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the arc. His four-point play got Male within 55-51 in the final minutes, but the Bulldogs could draw no closer.

Johnson led Trinity with 25 points, four assists and three steals. Johnson was 12-of-14 at the foul line, with both misses coming on a two-shot trip in the final minutes. He certainly atoned for it, going 4-for-4 when he was fouled on a rebound with the Shamrocks in the double-bonus and a Male player was issued a technical foul for trying to knock the ball away from Johnson.

Hardaway added 14 points, while Kennemore had 11 on just six field-goal attempts.

"I really wanted to get my team involved," Kennemore said. "If I got the open shot, I wanted to take it. But most of what I wanted to do was get my team involved and set up the offense and take care of the ball, which was crucial in the game today."

Trinity (13-5) advances to play the third-seeded Waggener Wildcats (17-2) in Friday night's late semifinal at 8.

"We just need to continue to play winning basketball at both ends of the floor," Szabo said. "We've just got to keep getting better, keep getting tougher and keep improving in every area."

The early semifinal at 6:30 p.m. pits the ninth-seeded Seneca Redhawks (12-6) against the fourth-seeded Ballard Bruins (11-7). The final is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.


Recent Articles