Simple Trojans win Senior Night, share of NSC championship
BOURBON — Triton boys basketball head coach Jason Groves said his halftime instructions centered around keeping it simple.
By simplifying, the Class A No. 5 Trojans made the game look easy, hitting 11 of 16 from the field and outscoring visiting Knox by 19 points in the third quarter en route to a 60-31 Northern State Conference and Senior Night win at The Trojan Trench Friday.
With the victory, Triton finishes in a tie with LaVille atop the league standings.
“It was just effort,” Groves said of his team’s third quarter. “The defense set the tone for our offense. We told them at halftime to simplify — get the ball down, reverse, and take what they give you. We don’t need to try to get fancy or dissect the defense, just go out and play basketball. That starts with our defense.”
Senior point guard Zak Shively paved the way for Triton with 16 points, six assists — with just a single turnover — and four rebounds. He scored 10 points during the Trojans’ 27-8 third-quarter onslaught, including a half-opening triple following a Knox turnover, and frustrated Knox with physical perimeter defense.
“(Shively’s) assist-to-turnover ratio had to be outstanding,” Groves said. “Zak did a nice job attacking with the ball. Defensively, it seemed like he was all over the court. He’s definitely capable of scoring, and he takes what the defense gives him.”
Sophomore guard Tanner Shepherd, active with and without the ball, notched a game-high 20 points on 9-of-12 field-goal shooting off the bench, and registered three steals for Triton which converted 20 Knox turnovers into 27 points.
“I got on (Shepherd) early, and he definitely executed; he took it to heart,” Groves said. “He was on (Knox leading scorer Elliott) Coad and he did a nice job defensively. That’s nice to see.”
Meanwhile, Triton, which led 22-14 at halftime, played most of the evening without 6-foot-6 junior standout Clay Yeo, who logged just 12 minutes due to persistent foul trouble. He finished with four points and three boards.
“They realized they can do things without Clay,” Groves said of his squad. “He’s carried the load for us this year. It’s nice to see other guys have the confidence to step up and make plays.”
Also for the Trojans, sophomore Cody Shively grabbed a team-high five rebounds, and junior Seth Glingle recorded three steals.
In addition to Zak Shively, seniors Nick Nordmann, Jackson Downing, and Marc Lindsey all played a role in the Trojans’ victory.
“Our seniors, a lot of them don’t get as much playing time as maybe they’d like, especially with Marc missing so much of the season with a football injury,” Groves said. “We talked about how our seniors have been with us 12 years, from junior league up to now. Nick Nordmann takes a charge tonight. He always does what I ask him to do, and he never complains. Jackson Downing is the same way. Nick, Jackson, Marc, Zak, they’re all great kids. Their effort, leadership, and hard work is a big part of our program; it’s nice to see them honored tonight.”
Coad led the Redskins with 12 points. Steven Graman pulled down a game-high seven rebounds to go along with four assists for Knox.
Triton opens Class A Sectional 51 play Tuesday at home against Oregon-Davis. Knox takes on Kankakee Valley in Class 3A Sectional 18 action at Rensselaer Central Tuesday.
• TRITON 60,
Score by quarters
Knox: 8 14 22 31
Triton: 11 22 49 60
KNOX (31): Dylan Short 2 1-1 5, Curt Scherer 2 1-2 6, Steven Graman 0 0-0 0, Elliott Coad 4 3-4 12, Jeremy Crittendon 0 1-2 1, Cody Fletcher 0 0-0 0, Brian Fulghum 1 2-2 4, Dakota Manns 0 0-0 0, Tom Clem 0 0-0 0, Austin Hansen 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 10 9-13 31.
TRITON (60): Darren Harrell 0 0-0 0, Clay Yeo 2 0-0 4, Zak Shively 4 6-8 16, Nick Nordmann 1 0-0 3, Jackson Downing 0 2-2 2, Bryson Mosier 1 0-0 3, Marc Lindsey 0 0-0 0, Tanner Shepherd 9 0-0 20, Seth Glingle 2 0-2 4, Seth Flenar 0 0-0 0, Cody Shively 2 0-1 4, Drew Mosson 2 0-0 4, Seth Flenar 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23 8-13 60.
3-point goals: Knox 2 (Scherer, Coad), Triton 6 (Z. Shively, Shepherd 2, Nordmann, Mosier); Turnovers: Knox 20, Triton 7; Rebounds: Knox 22 (Graman 7), Triton 30 (C. Shively 5); Assists: Knox 6 (Graman 4), Triton 15 (Z. Shively 6); Steals: Knox 5 (Graman, Coad 2), Triton 9 (Glingle 3); Fouls (fouled out): Knox 19 (none), Triton 16 (Yeo); Technical foul: Yeo; Records: Knox 4-16 (2-5 NSC), Triton 16-5 (6-1 NSC).
JV score: Triton 41 (Meadway 11), Knox 22 (Brian Fulghum 8).