March 8th, 2019

Trinity Advances to Semifinals, Beating Ashland Blazer 60-30


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Trinity Advances to Semifinals, Beating Ashland Blazer 60-30
Trinity defeated Ashland Blazer to advance to the final four in state/ Photo by Chad L. Waggoner, Trinity Athletic Photos

It was in the second quarter and Trinity's offense was sputtering a bit. The all boys’ student section that made the trip to Rupp Arena were standing. They began the chant. Defense. Defense. Defense.

It was only a matter of seconds before the Shamrocks forced a turnover .What followed was a three point basket and a layup by Stan Turnier. It increased an eight point lead to 23-10 with 3:30 left in the first half.

From that point on it was all Shamrocks rolling to a 60-30 win over 16th Region champion Ashland Blazer, on Friday.

Trinity (28-8) advances to play Ninth Region champion Campbell County a 49-42 winner over Walton Verona earlier Friday. Tipoff is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The winner advances to the championship game, Sunday at 2.

"We needed to do a lot better job offensively," said Trinity coach Mike Szabo. "We made some bad decisions, turnovers. Our shot selection was not like I like it."

It got a lot better in the second half as Trinity outscored the Tomcats 37-18 which included a running clock the last couple of minutes because of the mercy rule.

Again, Trinity used stingy defense, one of the state’s best allowing an average of 46 points a game.

Ashland (18-17) shot just 33.3 percent making 10 of 33 from the field and was out rebounded 24-17. The Rocks forced Ashland into 17 turnovers. Nathan Sellers led the Tomcats with 10 points.

Offensively the Rocks used balanced scoring.

Trinity starts five seniors which were led by Turnier with 16. He was six of 10 from the field and three of six on three point baskets. University of Louisville commit David Johnson added 13 points on five of six shots from the floor, four rebounds and two assist. Kolton Rice had 11.

"We finished good," said Turnier. We've got two more (games). We'll be focused and ready for the next bunch."

It was the second straight easy game for the Rocks who on Wednesday beat Johnson Central 70-28.

"No one has had to play a lot of minutes, playing close games," said Turnier.

Szabo has had that luxury. "We did what we needed today," said Szabo. "Here we are in the final four exactly where we want to be. We're excited to be here."

Ashland was a surprise winner of its region. Szabo had nothing but praise for the Tomcats.

"In watching them on film they did a really good job to get here," said Szabo, "They should be proud."

Trinity needs to be proud of its defensive efforts. 


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