Triton sophomore Cole Shively protects the ball while looking for an open teammate during the first quarter.
Triton sophomore Cole Shively protects the ball while looking for an open teammate during the first quarter.
BOURBON - The Trinity Greenlawn Titans visited the Trojan Trench Tuesday night boasting a 2-3 zone defense yielding only 25 points per contest among previous opponents, but the Triton Trojans were zone breakers in the first half, scoring 23 points in the books by halftime from hitting 5 of 10 zone-breaking first half 3-point shots on their way to a 33-27 victory over Trinity.

The Trojans led 11-4 in the first period, 23-11 at halftime, and seemed to solve Trinity’s vaunted zone defense until each team tightened up its defense in a low-scoring second half. Triton scored its only third period basket early in the stanza, but the Titan’s still trailed 25-14 after the buzzer ended quarter because the guests couldn’t solve Triton’s various defensive trap sets.

“We knew we had to get a lead and maintain (it),” Triton head coach Jason Groves said. “Against a team like this you’re not gonna score 50 points a game. We were still up 10, 12 points and toward the end before we turned over the ball a few times, we have to take care of the ball.”

The second half was a blend of aggressive defense and continued cold shooting between both teams.

The Trojans’ scoring schneid started early in the third quarter and it was finally broken after nearly 9 minutes when Ashton Oviedo’s 3-point shot found the mark with 5:49 left in the final frame. Trinity moved to within single digits with 1:14 left in the contest, 32-24, after Henry Lee, the game’s scoring leader with 13 points, stole the ball and scored a layup with 1:14 left in the contest.

Trinity’s Jacob Palmer kept the Trojans’ coach and fans on the edges of their seats hitting a 3-point shot with (14.9) to close the gap to 33-27, but the score remained the same when the final buzzer sounded.

Triton cooled off from its 50% field goal shooting in the first half to a 3 for 14 (21.4%) second half performance from the field. The Trojans only scored 10 second half points but continued to play solid team defense to hold off their guests’ late-game comeback effort.

The Titans’ hit 6 for 22 (27%) shots in the second half and connected on 11 for 37 (30%) for the entire ballgame.

“(Trinity likes) to control the tempo offensively,” Groves noted. “So we tried to trap them and force them to do things they didn’t want to do. We did a nice job, we rotated, and we knew where their shooters were.”

The Trojans forced 14 turnovers and grab 8 steals. They only committed nine miscues of their own.

Trinity’s Lee grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, 9 from the offensive glass,  scoring most of the Titans’ second chance points. The guests will return to the Trojan Trench for march sectional action and Groves knew why he had a big night on the boards. The hosts were outrebounded 35-15.

“Tonight, we weren’t playing man-to-man. We were playing a lot of 1-3-1 with some traps so our smaller guys were underneath. I think that factored in a little bit.”

Cole Shively (10 points, 3 steals) led Triton’s scoring followed by Caden Graham (8 points, 2 steals), and Ashton Oviedo (6 points, 3 assists, 3 steals).

Triton (12-5) hosts Rochester next Tuesday Feb 15 at 7:30 pm. Trinity Greenlawn falls to 11-5.

Triton’s junior varsity squad held Trinity scoreless in the second period enroute to a 40-26 win. Evan Briles scored 18 points for the victors. He was aided by Jacob Pitney (8 points), Javan May and Dante Workman (6 points each), and Caden Large (2 points).