BOURBON – It was just a special night all around Thursday at Triton High School. Plymouth and Triton battled to a whale of a conclusion in the girls basketball game and buried the hatchet as both clubs teamed up to provide a ‘Win’ of a much bigger variety.
Before the game even began, Triton and Plymouth High School collectively raised $1,007 to donate to Ounce of Prevention in Plymouth, which offers those dealing with cancer mechanisms of coping and support. After the check was presented, Plymouth and Triton battled to a 36-35 final score on the court in favor of the visiting Lady Pilgrims.
The basketball itself was about as even as the scoreboard suggested. Triton dominated the first half, but found itself mired in foul trouble while Plymouth finally settled into its historically successful brand of rotation basketball. In the end, Plymouth did everything it could to survive.
The size and moves in the paint by Nicole Horvath in the third quarter put Plymouth up 27-19 after Horvath scored six points in a key stretch. But the tide turned in the fourth quarter, where Triton’s post presence, Lauren Hostrawser, instilled her will with two straight buckets inside. The second drew the fifth foul on Horvath, who left the game with 12 points and four boards, but Plymouth clinging to a 31-29 lead.
Plymouth answered with a three from Alli Andrews, her only basket of the game, only for Triton’s Kylie Mason to counter with a three of her own. A steal and hoop by Alli Wright sent Plymouth up 36-32, but Triton would hit three free throws down the stretch to pull within one.
The Lady Trojans had the ball with seven seconds left, but Nicole Sechrist was whistled to have set an illegal screen as Krystal Sellers worked toward the Plymouth basket, sending the ball back to Plymouth and a huge sigh of relief for Plymouth head coach Dave Duncan.
“We knew this game was going to be a struggle,” Duncan said. “Triton is always a good, solid team and they gave us a battle like they always do. You can count on these games usually coming down to one or two possessions, and it did again tonight.”
Triton head coach Adam Heckaman was happy with the setup of the final play, except Mason, who scored 11 points in the contest, was sitting on the bench after being forced to commit her fifth foul the play before. The result was just part of basketball.
“I figured they would pick us up at half court, so I wanted the ball in Krystal’s hands,” Heckaman said. “She makes good decisions. Even if Kylie would have been out there, Krystal would have had the ball, and maybe kicks it to Kylie for a game-winner. Nicky just got caught in a bad spot, it happens.”
Becca Kennedy had a solid game for Triton (2-1), scoring 12 points and pulling down seven boards. Hostrawser had just five points, all scored in the fourth quarter, and added seven rebounds.
Hunter Stevens added nine points, three rebounds and two assists for Plymouth, now 3-0 on the season.
The JV game went to Plymouth in a 34-28 final. Leena Tetzloff had 11 points and Cortni Cook 10 points for the victors while Hannah Wanemacher led Triton and all scorers with 14 points.
For The Greater Good
Triton donned all-pink uniforms Thursday night, which were donated by the Ounce of Prevention organization. Plymouth, which had to wear the neutral whites, wore pink socks and several wore pink headbands. Plymouth’s coaches wore pink T-shirts and Triton’s fan base wore pink shirts that were sold as part of the fundraising effort during the past two weeks of the campaign.
The two schools held a ‘Penny War’, raising over $500 from the hallways and a raffle was held before halftime of the varsity game to raise additional funds.
Triton athletic director Mason McIntyre presented the check to Jessica Oliver and representatives of Ounce of Prevention during the halftime ceremony. Ounce of Prevention, co-founded by Oliver and Jennifer Houin, began in 2003 with a simple wine and cheese party that raised $30,000 for locals needing help. It since has helped countless families with the struggles cancer causes.
“It’s pretty impactful to see a basketball team wearing pink because they want to help others,” Oliver said. “It’s big in helping raise awareness, and the money does help. We were thrilled that Triton called us. Anything that can be done to defeat cancer is a good thing.”
Added Heckaman, “We wanted to do something bigger than us. The girls showed they are bigger than just the game of basketball. They brought awareness to breast cancer and helped provide to Marshall County. That money stays here and goes to families that need it. I was so proud of them. It was a good night overall.”
Duncan concluded, “We’re ready to support anything like that, do anything we can. (Plymouth guard) Haley Harrell really took over and did the job by herself and helped get the coin war thing going in the hallways. Any time you can be bigger than a game, it’s huge. It’s for a great cause, and for both teams to rise up like that is great.”