Senior Bruce Johnson of Triton battles for the ball with teammate Tyson Yates and Trinity's Teddy Skendzel during Wednesday night's sectional game at Triton.
Senior Bruce Johnson of Triton battles for the ball with teammate Tyson Yates and Trinity's Teddy Skendzel during Wednesday night's sectional game at Triton.
BOURBON – The Trinity Greenlawn Titans boasted a team defense allowing 28 points per game entering last night’s Class 1A Sectional 50 quarterfinal. The Titans entered last night’s Class 1A Sectional 50 quarterfinal with the goal of avenging their regular season 33-27 loss to the sectional host Triton Trojans.

Triton, however, once again defeated the Titans with the same combination of solid first half shooting and a stifling 1-3-1 zone defense during their regular season win. This time, though, the Trojans added 50% second half shooting to end the Titans’ season with a convincing 51-34 win in the Trojan Trench.

“We wanted to get off to a good start,” Triton head coach Jason Groves said. “We knew we had to knock down some shots like we did early to take a lead. It was kind of nice to get some turnovers and transition buckets against (Trinity). Our kids were active and that helps, getting their hands on the (opponent’s) ball.”

Triton senior Ashton Oviedo drilled three first quarter 3-point jumpers against the Trinity of Greenlawn Titans’ vaunted 2-3 zone enroute to a 13-2 first quarter lead. The Trojans sprinkled a little 2-3 zone in their defensive recipe to capitalize on 10 points off 10 Trinity turnovers to lead 23-8 at halftime.

“Sometimes we mix things up a little bit,” Groves said. “When our kids are active it’s really easy to switch defenses. We wanted to keep (Trinity) guessing tonight.”

Triton hit 7 of 8 (88%) of their 2-point attempts, and 3 of 13 (23%) shots beyond the arc for a net of 48% accuracy in first half action. The tournament hosts held Trinity to 4 of 14 (29%) first half shooting including 0 for 5 from 3-point range.

The two solid, aggressive defensive squads only committed four first half fouls between them. Triton was, in fact, whistled for all four of those fouls. The Titans, however, entered the double bonus in the fourth quarter, on their way to getting whistled for 15 fouls in the second half after the whistle-free first half.

Triton maintained their double-digit lead 32-18 through three quarters, then scored 19 points in the final frame to clinch the 51-34 postseason opening victory.

Jose Rose led Trinity of Greenlawn’s scoring with 15 points including three 3-pointers. Jacob Palmer added 9 points for the Titans (15-8), who finished the night hitting 13 of 35 ( 37%) shots from the field including 5 of 18 (28%) from 3-point range.

The Trojans connected on 49% of their shots (16 of 33) but struggled beyond the arc hitting 4 of 18 (22%). Triton hit 15 of 19 free throws, all taken in the second half. The victors’ balanced scoring attack kept Trinity guessing all evening. Oviedo (13 points, 3 assists, 4 steals), Bruce Johnson (9 points, 5 rebounds), Tyson Yates (9 points, 6 assists, 2 steals), Caden Graham (8 points), Cole McKinney (7 points, 2 assists), and Cole Shively (5 points, 5 rebounds) were Triton’s statistical leaders.

The Trojans (16-7) advance to Friday’s 8 p.m. sectional semifinal against either the Culver Community Cavaliers (6-15), whom Triton defeated 60-34 Jan 14, or the Oregon-Davis Bobcats (3-18), whom the Trojans beat 78-30. Friday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal contest pits Argos (16-5) against Lacrosse (12-9), winners of three and four consecutive games, respectively.