Trinity routs Spartans, 60-31
From the opening tip to the final buzzer, the Trinity boys were in full control the entire game in a dominant all-around performance.
The Bulldogs, seeded No. 3 in the Midwest, shot the ball, defended and rebounded very well in dismantling Central Davidson, seeded No. 2, 60-31 on Friday night in the third round of the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs in Lexington.
“It feels amazing,” said senior guard David Newcomer, one of four double-figure scorers for Trinity. “We came in and we were focused. We were shooting before the game and we were focused. The bus ride down here we were focused.
“Coach Kelly did a great job of scouting them, breaking down film and having a good scouting report on them for what we needed to do to win. … It just goes with being prepared, coming out hot like we did. We’re playing great right now and hopefully we can keep it up.”
Newcomer finished with 20 points to lead the Bulldogs (22-4), who reached the regionals for the fourth time overall and first time since 2008. Brandon Earnhardt also had 17 points while Austin Sexton and Jarrod Rogers each had 10 points.
“That was the best we’ve executed and, honestly, probably the best we’ve shot it as a team,” said coach Tim Kelly, who highlighted his coaches’ scouting in preparing for the game. “We’ve had nights where one or two guys might be on. But everyone shot it well tonight, and we’ve been waiting for that all year.
“We’re capable of that. I think we only took three bad shots tonight. That’s because we were coming off screens, making the extra pass — it’s amazing what you can do if you execute. When you’ve got good shooters and you make that one extra pass, it’s a lot different getting a wide-open look than with a guy’s hand in my face.”
Trinity scored the first eight points of the game and the Spartans (23-4) never got it back to a one-possession game. The Bulldogs pushed their lead to double-digits early in the second quarter and, after scoring the final eight points of the quarter, led 28-12 at halftime.
Trinity, using a nearly unstoppable combination of defense and rebounding on the one end plus excellent outside shooting and strong inside play on the other, then opened the second half on a 17-2 run to lead by 31, 45-14, with 3:18 left in the third. Its lead peaked at 36 in the fourth.
“The kids couldn’t have executed on both sides any better,” Kelly said. “I’m so proud of them. To get back to the regionals, off a team last year that was 24-4 and graduated five all-conference players — not a lot of people thought we’d be here. But they believed it and we believed it, and good things have happened.”
Chris Pompey scored nine points to lead Central Davidson.