January 22nd, 2021

Rocks Lose Another Close One

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


Rocks Lose Another Close One
photo by Ed Peak

For the second straight game a victory was within reach for Trinity. However the Rocks couldn't make the plays down the stretch and visiting No. 8 Covington Catholic held on for a 51-50 win, Friday night.

 

Like Tuesday's loss to rival St. Xavier, Trinity rallied in the fourth quarter led by one, fell behind late then missed two close layups that could have given No. 24 (Kentucky Max Preps ratings) Trinity the victory.

 

"We had plenty of opportunities to kind of take that game and win," said Trinity coach Mike Szabo. "We just didn't do it. Overall I think we executed our game plan pretty well. We got away from it there a few times."

 

The game was close all night. CovCath (6-1) closed the third quarter scoring nine straight points for a 42-36 lead, its biggest of the game. Sophomore guard Evan Ipsaro, who led the Colonels with 14 points, completed the run with a layup.

 

The Shamrocks kept battling and took a 47-46 lead on two free throws by junior Cam McClain with 3:28. Trinity spread the floor and passed the ball going for drives and wide open layups. McClain's wide open three point jumper from the right gave the Rocks a 50-48 lead with 1:51. 

 

CovCath the defending Ninth Region champions didn't flinch. Ispano drove to the basket for a layup and was fouled by Miles Franklin. Ispano made the free throw which provided the Colonels with the victory.

 

Trinity had opportunities as Ethan Hodge drove into the lane missed a layup under heavy pressure. Senior Will McMillan rebounded and close in shot missed with 9.4 seconds remaining.

 

"I think they (CovCath) tipped it a little, it hit the backboard," said Szabo. "We had a guy wide open in the corner. We just got to learn. It's the little things we just got to clean up."

 

Ispano had five of the Colonels nine points in the fourth quarter. "I actually got really nervous," said Ispano. "When we lost to North Laurel, I had two charges just like that and they called charges. When I got up I didn't see what the call was. I was pretty hyped it (the layup) counted and they called a block. I just put it up and hoped for the best."

 

It was the Colonels second trip to Louisville, the Colonels won at DeSales 68-62, Jan. 15.  They will return February 5th to play St. Xavier and the following night at Male.

 

"They (Trinity) were so good at slipping screens.," said CovCath coach Scott Ruthsatz. "We weren't adjusting well. We weren't communicating. In this crazy year that we as coaches are dealing with we are coming down here and getting great competition.

"You really have to see where your guys are at," said Ruthsatz. "We have a lot of guys that have come up through the system that have not been in big games. You've got to learn how to win big games and you've to know how to close them out."

Szabo feels his team will continue to improve. "We'll keep coming back to work, get a little better each day. Keep making strikes," said Szabo. 

 

Trinity changed its starting lineup with sophomore CJ Walls, who had eight points and senior Dudley Cox replacing Zach Stahlman who finished with 11 points and Will McClain who had 11. Both came in the game in the first quarter. Ethan Hodge added 11 points.

 

"Just sort of reward for some guys honestly that were playing well, doing the things we want them to do," said Szabo. "It changes from night to night In how we need to play both offensively and defensively."

 

Given a little time and practice and Trinity will get its signature win.

 
 

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