BOURBON – Triton did its part as the Bi-County Basketball Tournaments opened varsity play Tuesday night. Facing New Prairie, the Lady Trojans rolled 59-20 while the Trojans held on for a 34-31 victory.
In A Word: Stifling
The girls game wasn’t much of a game. Triton, exhibiting what could be considered patterned behavior, started off the game sloppy, but once going, ran away.
Right from the opening tip, Triton used four offensive rebounds on its first possession to get its first points, then poured on the defense. New Prairie only had two shots even hit the rim in the first 5:10 of the quarter. While that was going on, Triton had spread out a 14-0 lead.
New Prairie didn’t score a point for the first 9:30 of the game, and after Triton took a 28-6 lead into the lockerroom, the Lady Trojans ran off another 8-0 run to open the third.
“Offensively, we have struggled at times – and I think that is pretty known – we really feel defensively if we are on our game, we rotate and contest shots and clean up the rebounds, then we have a chance,” said Triton head coach Adam Heckaman. “If we can’t score points but only give up 20 points, then we’re never out of it. That has been a focus of ours, and I think the girls have taken it to heart.”
Triton had Jaela Meister lead the club with 22 points and 13 rebounds, nine of those boards on the offensive end. The Lady Trojans scored 21 second-chance points.
Hannah Wanemacher nearly had an unconventional triple-double, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds and nine steals. Charlotte Morris added eight points and 14 boards, eight of those offensive.
Brooke Prestin and Ashley Campos both finished with six points for New Prairie.
Triton (9-11) will take on John Glenn (14-6) at 6:30 p.m. in the semi-finals Thursday. Glenn, which beat Triton by 20 in the season opener, defeated Argos 53-48 Tuesday night. On the other half of the bracket, Oregon-Davis (17-2) had no trouble with Culver in a 90-20 final and Bremen (9-10) got by LaVille 43-34. O-D and Bremen will meet in the other semi-final, with all games in the tournament now shifting to LaVille.
Not many of the Triton faithful wanted to think about the boys basketball loss at Culver Friday night. But the way the game unfolded Tuesday against New Prairie made at least one Triton supporter at least shudder just a little.
“It reminded me a lot of the other night with the way the game went,” began Triton boys head coach Jason Groves. “I thought we came out and played really well in the beginning, and the kids were playing with confidence. But give New Prairie a lot of credit, they came back out in the second half and adjusted. And they really shut us down there in the second half.”
Triton had jumped out to a 26-15 lead at the half, led by Masen Yeo’s 13 first-half points. But the Cougars shut the Trojans out in the third quarter, making up eight points to close within three.
On two occasions in the fourth, New Prairie would get within one point, but never tied or took over the lead. The difference between the Culver loss and the New Prairie win for the Trojans was hitting the free throws when it mattered. Triton went 4-7 from the line in the fourth quarter, none bigger than Jordan Anderson’s pair with 14 seconds remaining to put the score at 34-31.
Anderson finished with 12 points while Yeo led all scorers with 18 points and chipped in six rebounds two blocks and two steals.
Tyrian Williams scored four of his six points in the fourth quarter, but missed two shots in the final 10 seconds. Bryce Bloode led the Cougars with 11 points.
Triton (8-5) will advance to face John Glenn (8-6), a 48-45 winner over Argos. On the other half of the bracket, LaVille (8-5) was a comfortable 57-42 winner over Bremen while Oregon-Davis (7-8) pulled a mild 57-55 over a Culver squad that had lost just once prior to Tuesday.
Triton’s game will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, with the LaVille-O-D game to follow, all games taking place at LaVille.