Triton teams escape New Prairie

NEW CARLISLE — Griffyn Carpenter put on same late heroics, while Triton’s girls did just enough to hold off the Lady Cougars in hostile territory.
After forcing overtime with a pull-up jumper from the lane at the end of regulation, Carpenter scored all of Class A, No. 3 Triton’s five points in the extra period to put the Trojans over the top 62-59 against an inspired New Prairie team, while Emily Duff and Allison Thacker combined for 14 second-half points to boost the Lady Trojans over the Cougars, 37-31 in first round action at the Teachers Credit Union Bi-County Basketball Tournament at New Prairie Tuesday.
Class A, No. 3 Trojans 62, Cougars 59 OT
With Triton trailing 57-55 and the defending-champion Trojans facing an ignominious first-round defeat to the Cougars, Triton head boys basketball coach Jason Groves knew exactly who he wanted the ball to go to.
Senior guard Griffyn Carpenter took Cougars counterpart Michael Wagner one-on-one in the paint, putting up a pull-up jumper from the lane at the 33-second mark of the fourth frame that Wagner did everything but get a hand on, and the visiting Triton crowd exploded as the ball arched in to knot the game at 57-all.
The score remained knotted there until Carpenter buried a pair of free throws in the double bonus to give Triton a little breathing room at the 2:50 tick of overtime. His putback of his own blocked shot at the 1:49 mark stretched Triton’s lead to 61-57, and he brought the score to its final margin as he buried the first of two charity tosses at the 14.2 mark as the Trojans breathed a sigh of relief at New Prairie.
“Griffyn was doing well inside, and we said let’s get the ball to Griff inside and run some more sets where he can get the ball and kind of operate from around 15 feet; he’s pretty good from there,” said Triton head basketball coach Jason Groves. “That’s what you expect out of a senior who has been with you for four years. When the game’s on the line, you have to step up and make the plays and he did. That was nice to see.”
“I knew we could do it,” Carpenter said. “I wasn’t really in panic mode, because this team’s very well-coached, they play very hard, and I don’t think we panicked and that served us very well tonight.”
Carpenter scored all of his team’s points in overtime to finish with a game-high 34 points for the night, his second straight 34-point outing after tallying that number in a Northern State Conference win over Culver at the Trojan Trench Saturday.
Carpenter — who surpassed the 1,000-point career mark just a week prior to Tuesday’s Bi-County battle — reached another milestone at New Prairie by becoming the Trojans’ all-time leading scorer with 1,077 points and counting.
The Cougars put Triton on its heels early with a game-opening 5-0 run and led most of the first half, but five unanswered points by Carpenter midway through the second frame gave Triton its first lead of the night at the 4:28 mark of the quarter, and with a short jumper from the lane nearly identical to his game-tying bucket at the end of regulation, he restaked the Trojans to a slight 33-31 lead with 44 seconds on the clock.
All total, the game featured six ties and 15 lead changes, but the Cougars led most of the night after their fast start.
“I think they were ready to go,” Groves said. “They came out focused, ready to go and expected to beat us here at their home court. I’ve been warning our guys all week that this was going to be physical and they were going to get after them.”
Three Cougars finished in double figures as MIke Wagner scored 17, George Stainko scored 11, and Kyle Brammer pitched in 10 in the heartbreaking loss.
“We’re playing basketball. The kids are playing hard.,” said New Prairie head coach Chad Cripe. “The little things make the big things happen, and there were enough little things there at the end that caught us, but you know, the kids are playing hard, good basketball. We’re starting to understand the game. There are a lot of good things there, but you’ve got to learn from it and move on. That’s all you can do.”
Clay Yeo scored 15 points for Triton, which will move on to face LaVille Friday at 8 p.m.
At New Carlisle
Score by quarters
Triton: 12 33 41 57 62
New Prairie: 15 31 42 57 59
TRITON (62): Griffyn Carpenter 34, Quentyn Carpenter 3, Austin Davis 6, Jordan Everett 4, Blake Lemler 0, Marc Lindsey 0, Clay Yeo 15; Totals: 20-34 18-21 62.
NEW PRAIRIE (59): Kyle Brammer 10, Austin Glinter 2, C.J. Kowalski 0, Mitch Mrozinski 7, Zach Rehlander 3, Josh Ruiz 9, George Stainko 11, Mike Wagner 17; Totals: 25-55 6-10 59.
3-point goals: Triton 5 (G. Carpenter 3, Yeo 2), New Prairie 4 (Mrozinski 2, Wagner, Stainko); Turnovers: Triton 13, New Prairie 12; Fouls (fouled out): Triton 12 (none), New Prairie 17 (Wagner); Records: Triton 9-3, New Prairie 5-6.
Lady Trojans 37,
Lady Cougars 31
The Lady Trojans have had some trouble scoring in the halfcourt this season, but they found a solution to their scoring woes Tuesday: just score in the fullcourt.
While Triton’s girls surrendered 23 turnovers, their full court defensive pressure created 26 turnovers from the Lady Cougars, and, even more importantly, the Trojans punished them for those mistakes with 23 points off turnovers on their way to a nip-tuck nailbiter only rivaled by the boys overtime win in the nightcap at New Prairie.
“That was something we really talked about this week. Our last couple games we’ve struggled to get our offense going, and I said part of it is we’re not intense enough from the get-go and then we’re playing from behind,” said Triton girls basketball head coach Adam Heckaman. “We got after it right away, caused some problems for them... and we were able to generate a little bit of offense off of it and get our offense going.”
“We expected them to press us. We expected to handle the press better, and we didn’t,” said New Prairie head coach Dan Shead.
“But hey, to their credit they played hard, and every time we’d make a run, they’d have an answer.”
And New Prairie made the Trojans answer numerous times down the home stretch, keeping the game within one possession until late in the fourth quarter.
Allison Thacker gave Triton a little breathing room with a steal and a cold-as-ice one-and-one that put the Trojans up 34-31 with 26.3 remaining on the game clock, while fellow senior guard Emily Duff stretched the advantage to 36-31 with a steal and a pair of free throws on the ensuing inbounds play, breaking the pesky Cougars’ will in the process.
Duff kept Triton out front in the third quarter with seven of her 10 points in the frame — including a triple to start off the second half — while Thacker put up eight points in the final frame to finish off New Prairie and bring her total to a game-leading 11 points for the night.
“This is a game where our guards were going to have to step up,” Heckaman said. “They put a lot of pressure on us; we put a lot of pressure on them. We had a few more turnovers than I would like, but when it came down to the clutch time, they came up with the plays. I think Megan (Howdeshell) and Aundrea (Sellers) and Sarah (Stichter) they did a great job as far as doing what they needed to do for the team... and I think overall, all those girls that were out there stepped it up defensively and did what they needed to do to get them down, and then our offense went to the rim to finish it out.”
Triton improves to an even 7-7 with its first win in four outings. The Trojans will take on four-time Bi-County champs Oregon-Davis at LaVille at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
At New Carlisle
Score by quarters
Triton: 7 13 25 37
New Prairie: 4 12 21 31
TRITON (37): Shana Anderson 6, Hannah Downing 3, Emily Duff 10, Megan Howdeshell 2, Aundrea Sellers 5, Sarah Stichter 0, Allison Thacker 11; Totals: 9-28 1`6-23 37.
NEW PRAIRIE (31): Alexis Buford 0, Katie Buford 0, Samantha Emerick 2, Mary Gamble 6, Heather Macher 3, Kelsey Prestin 0, Katie Singleton 9, Alyssia Smith 4, Courtney Spencer 7, Sarah VanWaardenburg 0; Totals: 9-31 11-17 31.
3-point goals: Triton 3 (Downing, Duff, Anderson), New Prairie 2 (Singleton 2); Turnovers: Triton 23, New Prairie 26; Total fouls (fouled out): Triton 17 (none), New Prairie 19 (none); Records: Triton 7-7, New Prairie 5-10.