March 10th, 2019

Trinity Claims State Title

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


Trinity Claims State Title
Trinity defeated Scott County to claim the state title/ photo by Chad L. Waggoner, Trinity Athletic Photos

Trinity long known as a Kentucky High School football state champion etched the Shamrocks name into the Boys State Basketball Tournament history book, Sunday. Trinity won their second title a 50-40 win over Scott County in the 102nd annual event at Rupp Arena.

The Shamrocks (30-8) champions of the Seventh Region got a second chance when they lost to Waggener in the 28th District. The runner up advances to the regional as well. Trinity the 2012 champion and a one point looser to the Cardinals in the state tournament last season did it with a stingy defense that allowed an average only 34.5 points in four state games.

It was anything but easy for Trinity that trailed 7-0 early and 22-18 late in the second quarter. But a three point shot by senior David Johnson tied the game 22-22 at halftime. “He’s a great player that just made a big time play,” said Trinity coach Mike Szabo. “That was a great finish. We need to change the tempo to where we want it. We have to be strong and tough.”

Trinity led 29-25 in the third quarter when Scott County, a two time champion, went on a 13-0 run. Lorenzo Williams had four points and a steal during the spurt. The margin could have been more had the Cardinals not missed several shots to end the third quarter leading 33-29.

“Our guys got to get tough,” said Scott County coach Billy Hicks to the KHSAA state radio network at halftime. “They are knocking us off our pattern.”

Scott County (35-3) led 35-31 early in the fourth quarter when Johnson, a University of Louisville commit, and his teammates quickly turned the game around scoring 15 straight points. Stan Turnier got hot scoring back to back threes before Johnson made his three. Turnier’s second three gave the Shamrocks a 37-35 lead. A Turnier three point play pushed the lead to 43-35 with 2:37 to play. Turnier finished with 22 points on eight of 18 shots from the floor.

Trinity kept pushing the Cardinals back making five of seven free throws down the stretch. A Covington three got Scott County within 47-40 with 48.8 remaining but could get no closer. The Cardinals went nearly five minutes without scoring, a Trinity staple with their defense.

“We fought so hard,” said Szabo. “We had to dig down deep. They all made huge winning plays.”

Scott County was held to 32.9 percent field goal shooting (16 of 49) and were outrebounded 30-28.  On the other hand Trinity made 42 percent of its shots but was seven of 15 in the fourth quarter including three of four three point shots.

Johnson finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, two assist and four blocked shots. Johnson was named the tournament Most Valuable Player. “It’s an amazing feeling,” said Johnson. “I’m going to soak it in with the rest of my teammates the rest of my life.”

It was bitter sweet for Scott County losing for the second straight season in the final. “Love this team,” said Hicks who has over 500 wins. “That (game) had no bearing on that.”

Moreno led Scott County with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Diablo Stewart added 10. The Cardinals made just four of 20 threes.

Hicks had a supreme compliment for Trinity’s Johnson. “They had David Johnson and we didn’t. He hit a couple of threes and we missed some shots, lost the ball on some turnover. Really, really, proud of them.”

Trinity has a lot to be proud of as well.

 

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