January 5th, 2019

Trinity Edges St. Xavier 46-43

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 


Trinity Edges St. Xavier 46-43
Trinity vs St.X tip off / photo by Jeff Woods

Trinity extended its winning streak over rival St. Xavier to six games Friday night, beating the Tigers 46-43 at Bellarmine University.

“I’m really proud of our team’s toughness tonight,” said Trinity head coach Mike Szabo. “I’m so glad they kept fighting because nothing seemed to come easy for us tonight. We missed a lot of shots we normally make, even some layups. But in an emotional game like that, you’re going to have those things. It’s all about persevering, playing through it, and making the next play, and our guys just didn’t quit.”

Trailing by six midway through the fourth quarter, the Shamrocks closed the game on a 9-0 run, which included the go-ahead three-pointer by senior Stan Turnier with a minute to play. Trinity also held the Tigers scoreless the final 4:44 of the game.

“When we went down four, we just had to lock in on defense, and that’s what we did,” said Turnier. “We started speeding them up, and it took them a while to get over half court, and they just couldn’t get into their offense.”

“It felt good right off my hands,” added Turnier when asked about the go-ahead three. “There’s nothing better than a shot like that right here.”

One word to describe Trinity’s victory is ugly. The Shamrocks shot just 35 percent from the floor. In their nine previous wins this season, the Rocks averaged almost 69 points per game, a stark contrast from Friday night.

“It’s great for your confidence. It’s great for your team chemistry,” said Szabo. “They know that if we’re down we can come back and we can win a close game. We just came off losing two close ones. A lot of times those find a way of evening out.”

Turnier led Trinity (10-4) in scoring with eleven points. Ethan Hodge finished with eight points and Jamil Hardaway ended with seven points and seven rebounds.

For St. Xavier (10-3), the loss is a tough one to swallow. The Tigers owned a two-possession lead with less than two minutes to play but were unable to close it out.

“It was a combination of our decision making on press offense, the spots we were catching the ball, what we were doing when we got the ball, and not letting our guys get set up when they scored. We were getting it in right away. We played right into their hands,” said St. Xavier head coach Kevin Klein.

Junior Sebian Dillard continued his impressive season with a game-high 27 points. No other St. Xavier player scored more than six. Dillard had 15 by halftime.

“Sebian is a very special kid,” said Klein. “Very hard worker. I think he’s one of the top juniors in the state. He had an incredible summer for us, and we knew the expectations were going to be very high from a coaching standpoint. And he’s been excited to meet those expectations. He’s just having a phenomenal junior year, and we’re very proud of what he’s done and even more excited about how he can improve and continue to get better.”

The Tigers are back on the court Saturday afternoon against district foe, Brown. Next week, they host Male in another 26th District showdown.

“We have no time to hang our head and feel sorry for ourselves,” said Klein. “We would have loved to win the game. We felt we did a lot of things to allow Trinity to take that from us. We have to be disappointed about that, but we have to be hungry to come back and learn what went wrong so that when we get in that situation again, it doesn’t happen."

 

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