February 24th, 2021

Boys LIT Preview


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Boys LIT Preview
photo by Ed Peak

Three of the four Louisville Catholic schools earned high seeds in next weeks annual Louisville Invitational Tournament, beginning Monday.


Ballard (9-1) is the No. 1 overall seed and the defending champion. DeSales (11-5) is the No. 2 seed while Trinity is No. 3 seed. The Shamrocks are coming off an impressive double over time win over the previously unbeaten Bruins 101-85, Tuesday night.


St. Xavier (12-4) is the No. 6 seed and has a win over Trinity. Holy Cross (11-5) is No. 20 doesn't have a marquee win, but has been consistent all season.


Male and Seneca were in the tournament but because of Covid were forced to pull out of the event. Male (5-2) was the No. 1 seed when pairings were announced in early January. Seneca is (4-4). The LIT committee decided to reseed because of the defections.


There will be a consolation round Tuesday and Thursday guaranteeing three games for all but one of the 29 teams. 

"It's exciting for us," said DeSales coach Damien Anderson. "We were rewarded with what we have done so far."


The Colts are led by seniors, 6-foot-8 forward Sekou Kalle, an Akron commit who averages 19.2 points and 10.6 rebounds. Devin Perry averages 20.2 points and gets the ball inside to Kalle. Junior forrward Keith Robinson averages 11.8 points.

"Both those guys are great players and good students," said Anderson. "It seems like everyone on the team likes playing with each other."

DeSales has a first round bye and host the winner of No. 18 North Bullitt and No. 15 Waggener, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


"We'll need everybody to step up," said Anderson. "There is not a lot of time between games. The winners will play Wednesday at the higher seeds home with the semifinals and final moving to Valley, Friday and Saturday. The championship is scheduled for 7 p.m.


"I guess Ballard would be the favorite," said Anderson. "Trinity has got a really good team. There are a lot of good teams. A lot of times it's the luck of the draw and matchups."


Trinity's win over rival Ballard is the most impressive victory by a Catholic school. Shamrocks coach Mike Szabo never one to overstate a victory told the   Courier-Journal, "it's just one night, I know that, but we showed progress. As a coach that's what you want to see. We won't make too big a deal out of it and we'll come back to work (Wednsday) tomorrow."


Trinity has balanced scoring with Zach Stahlman averaging 12.9 points, Ethan Hodge 12.6, Will McMillan 11.0, Miles Franklin 10.9 and Cam McClain 9.1.


The Rocks host the winner of No. 19 Collegiate and No. 14 Western, Tuesday at 7 p.m.


"This is a very prestiius tournament," said St. X coach Kevin Klein. "There has been a lot of discussion about three games in four days so close to the district (tournaments) because of the virus. The virus doesn't discriminate. We just hope to get through this without any problems."

The Tigers own a 62-54 victory over Trinity, January 19. The Tigers were without Bellarmine commit Ayden Mudd who has since returned from an injury. Senior guard Ben Varga who leads the state in three point shooting percentage,  46.2, averages 19.2 points. Mudd averages 13.7 points and 6.4 rebounds.


"Ayden isn't a hundred percent yet," said Klein. "His mobility and athleticism is is getting better every day."


As far Varga, Klein loves his work ethic. "Ben has a relentless work ethic. He's a team first guy. He puts in hours of work. He's never satisfied ."


St. X host No. 27 Atherton, Monday at 6:30 p.m.


Holy Cross plays at No. 13 Manual, Monday at 6:30 p.m. The Cougars are led by Jacob Hand who averages 16.5 points, Justice Cummins 11.4, Alonzo Coleman and Chaz Geraghty both average 10.5 points and Mason Bronger 7.3 points.


"I can't pick a favorite," said Klein. "There are a lot of good teams. I like the way we're playing and trending."



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