Cuthbertson tops Trinity boys 46-30
Tim Kelly and the Trinity boys basketball team came into Tuesday night with expectations to win in the NCHSAA 2A West regional, only to be stopped in their tracks by athleticism and a high-powered offense.
The Bulldogs managed to score just 11 points in the second half, as top seeded Cuthbertson knocked off No. 3-seeded Trinity, 46-30, Tuesday night in the regional semifinal at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.
Cuthbertson advanced to play Shelby on Saturday in the regional final, also at the Special Events Center. Shelby dropped top-seed Smoky Mountain, 84-46.
“I thought our kids competed really hard,” Kelly said. “We missed a couple of layups and missed a couple of key shots down the stretch that could have put us back in the game.”
David Newcomer led Trinity with 13 points, all in the first half, and Jarrod Rogers added eight. The Bulldogs exited the playoffs with a 22-5 record.
Trinity struggled to stop senior standout Shelton Mitchell, a Wake Forest recruit, who finished with a game-high 20 points. Facing difficult matchups on defense, the Bulldogs allowed the Cavs to shoot 78 percent from the field.
“I’m really proud of our kids for competing. We never gave up,” Kelly said. “We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. We lost to a really good team tonight, the best we’ve played all season."
Cuthbertson, which never trailed, jumped all over the Bulldogs in the opening minutes, pulling ahead 15-2.
After a Bulldog 30-second timeout, Kelly’s motion offense slowed the fast-paced Cavaliers, allowing Trinity to creep back into the game.
A couple of three-point plays by Newcomer put Trinity behind just six at the half. Newcomer did not miss a shot in the first two quarters.
In an even slower paced third quarter, the Bulldogs used possessions that were two and three minutes long, preventing the frustrated Cuthbertson to build on its lead.
“That was probably one of the most frustrating and difficult games that I’ve ever played in,” Mitchell said of Trinity’s slow motion offense. “But we were winning, so we had to be patient, and just play.”
Trinity scored only two points and the Cavs only three points in the third quarter.
The Cavaliers relied on good free throw shooting in the final quarter to seal the victory.
“I know the style of play that we played tonight wasn’t probably ideal for the fans, but we were here to win a game tonight,” Kelly said. “I thought we weren’t disciplined in the first quarter, and who knows, maybe if we started the game differently and made some shots we would have had a different outcome.”