No. 8 Knights top No. 5 Trojans
BOURBON — Triton’s Clay Yeo narrowly won the statistical battle, but Demetrius Jackson and Mishawaka Marian won the scoreboard war.
Led by Jackson’s 23 points, five rebounds, and five steals, the Class 3A No. 8 Knights held off Class A No. 5 Triton 58-52 at The Trojan Trench Saturday night in an enticing boys basketball matchup featuring a pair of Division I prospects.
Yeo, a 6-foot-6 junior, rattled off game highs with 28 points — 7 of 9 from the field and 12 of 15 from the foul line — and seven rebounds off the bench, to go along with a team-high three steals, but Marian effectively silenced the rest of the Trojans. Yeo racked up his impressive totals despite the lingering effects of illness that caused him to miss practice earlier in the week.
“(Yeo and Jackson) are good players,” Triton head coach Jason Groves said. “They’re go-to players who do a lot for their teams, both offensively and defensively. We had a good game from Clay tonight, but he needed a little more support.
“Clay was sick and missed practice this week,” he added. “It’s a rule we have that if you miss practice you don’t start; it’s a reward for kids who don’t miss practice, it was by no means punishment. We got (Yeo) in right away. He still has some congestion, and we even had to take him out once.”
Meanwhile, the 6-foot junior guard Jackson took the ball to the basket with a number of eyebrow-raising drives and finishes for Marian, which stayed in front the entire second half.
“(Jackson) is so quick,” Groves said. “We wanted to take our chances with his outside shot and pull-up jumpers. We got that for the most part, but he was still able to get to the basket even with us helping and sagging off. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t rotate better defensively and didn’t go after the boards like we should have.”
Between Jackson’s dribble penetration and perimeter defense and Yeo’s work without the ball and in the paint, the two talented standouts put on quite a show.
“That was fun,” Marian head coach Robb Berger said of the Yeo-Jackson duel. “It’s not every game that you see two Division I players, and they did not disappoint. Yeo’s a great shooter and rebounder and very good around the basket, but I wouldn’t trade my player for anything.”
Senior guard Coley Schultheis chipped in 15 points for Marian, including a pair of second-quarter triples and four free throws in the final 24.2 seconds of the game. His second 3-pointer — off a dish from Michael Whitfield — gave the Knights the lead for good, 26-25,with 4:40 to play in the first half.
“I don’t know that there was any one key,” Berger said. “We were able to get a couple of stops, and Coley Schultheis hit a couple of big 3s, and then he hit some big free throws to keep us ahead at the end. I think the important thing was we had enough stops to keep the lead at four to six points.”
Speaking of stops, the Knights mixed in a 2-3 zone and 1-3-1 halfcourt trap with their base man to man to hold Triton scoreless from 3-point range in the second half following a 4-for-8 showing in the first half. In fact, that first-half 3-point accuracy — two from Yeo and one each from Tanner Shepherd and Drew Mosson — somewhat mitigated nine turnovers.
“In the first half we had nine turnovers; we cut that down to four in the second, and I’m pleased with that,” Groves said. “We had some open opportunities that we didn’t knock down. (Marian) did a nice job switching defenses with zone, man, 1-3-1 to keep us off balance. We got a little passive and had open looks that we didn’t hit in the second half.”
According to Berger, his team made a concerted effort at shoring up its perimeter defense in the second half.
“(Triton) shot the ball really well in the first half,” he said. “Our defensive adjustment was to shut down the perimeter. We wanted to make it tougher for them, make that contact on the cuts. We ran too freely in the first half. We wanted to identify people, and deny that perimeter shot, make them put it on the floor with the dribble.”
Also for the Trojans, Shepherd scored nine of his 11 points in the first half, and senior point guard Zak Shively handed out a team-best three assists.
Triton hosts Bethany Christian Tuesday.
• MISHAWAKA MARIAN 58,
Score by quarters
Marian: 11 34 43 58
Triton: 15 30 40 52
MARIAN (58): Devin Cannady 2 0-0 4, Demetrius Jackson 9 5-5 23, Michael Whitfield 1 0-0 2, Coley Schultheis 3 7-8 15, Robert Mischler 1 1-2 3, Michael Henry 0 5-8 5, Drew Hasler 3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 19 18-23 58.
TRITON (52): Clay Yeo 7 12-15 28, Zak Shively 2 0-0 4, Jackson Downing 0 0-0 0, Bryson Mosier 0 0-0 0, Tanner Shepherd 4 2-2 11, Seth Glingle 3 0-0 6, Cody Shively 0 0-0 0, Drew Mosson 1 0-0 3. TOTALS: 17 14-17 52.
3-point goals: Marian 2 (Schultheis), Triton 4 (Yeo 2, Shepherd, Mosson); Turnovers: Marian 9, Triton 13; Rebounds: Marian 23 (Jackson, Whitfield 5), Triton 20 (Yeo 7); Assists: Marian 5, Triton 10 (Z. Shively 3); Steals: Marian 10 (Jackson 5), Triton 4 (Yeo 3); Fouls (fouled out): Marian 15 (Henry), Triton 18 (none); Technical foul: Jackson; Records: Marian 5-1, Triton 3-2.
JV score: Marian 40 (Will Whitten 13), Triton 36 (Dillon Meadway 11).