BOURBON – One down, one to go.
The Triton girls basketball team started its day the right way. The Lady Trojans hosted Wawasee in the opening game of the 2014 Triton Girls Basketball Tourney Saturday morning. The ladies protected the Trojan Trench with a 48-38 victory over the Lady Warriors.
It was all about taking advantage of opportunities for Triton. The home squad forced 23 Wawasee turnovers, resulting in 24 points. When Triton was not busy pressuring the Lady Warrior offense, it was busy making the Wawasee defense pay from deep.
The Lady Trojans hit nine threes Saturday morning, four of which came from Kylie Mason. The rainmakers kept Wawasee at a safe distance from Triton, which was needed. Triton only shot 39-percent from the field, Wawasee shot 38-percent. The threes made all the difference.
“I told our girls that giving up nine threes in a game might be a record for this program,” said Kem Zolman, Wawasee head coach. “We knew Triton was a perimeter team, giving up nine threes is just unacceptable. I do think, at times, we looked pretty decent on defense. But when you give up nine threes, that doesn’t equate to being very alert defensively.”
Each quarter seemed to play out very similarly, Wawasee would look to close the gap for the first five to six minutes while Triton would be ice cold from a shooting stand point, allowing that gap to shrink. Then the Lady Trojans would finally find a groove in the closing minutes and hit a pair of threes and start to work the paint for easy buckets. Once Wawasee lost an 8-6 lead in the first quarter, it never got it back.
Helping to keep Wawasee in it offensively was Kylee Rostochak, like Mason for Triton, Rostochak made the big shots when her team needed them. The junior shot 70-percent from the floor and hit a game-high five threes. She would lead all scorers with 21 points. Elizabeth Jackson hit one shot from behind the arc, finished with nine points and led the team with two steals. Hannah-Marie Lamle and Aubrey Schmeltz tied for the team lead with four rebounds each.
Mason led the Triton scoring effort with 18 points. Becca Kennedy added another 11 points and also tied for the team led in rebounds (four) and steals (three). Lauren Hostrawser also had four rebounds.
“You just never know what to expect from a 10 a.m. game,” began Triton head coach Adam Heckaman. “We wanted to really get pressure on Wawasee early and make sure our girls were playing with a lot of energy early on and we did that well. Offensively, this was probably our best game we’ve had overall. It was not the most points we’ve scored this season, but we moved the ball around well and found some good shots.”
Triton (4-2) will look to continue that success Saturday night at 8 pm. when it plays Pendleton Heights (3-2) for the tourney championship. Wawasee (3-3) will play at 6 p.m. in the consolation game against Leo (2-3).