BOURBON — With an already long holiday layover extended by a concussion last week, it took a little while for Clay Yeo to get rolling Saturday night.
Once the Triton senior got going though, he took the whole Trojans lineup with him.
Yeo scored a game-high 27 points with five assists in his return to the court after sitting out Thursday night’s contest with Elkhart Christian, and Triton rallied back from a 20-13 deficit at the first quarter break with an 18-4 second frame to hand visiting Northern State Conference foe John Glenn a 65-46 defeat at home at The Trojan Trench Saturday.
“He had gotten a couple practices in and had to take off and then had to get some more in, so his condition wasn’t quite where it normally is, you could kind of tell on his shots and his free throws there a little bit,” said Triton head basketball coach Jason Groves. “But it didn’t take long for his competitiveness to come out and his athleticism to take over. He’s the one that sparked us and really got our team refocused. After I put him on the bench for a little while, he was kind of the one that was our vocal leader and got everybody else ready to go, so that was nice to see.”
While Yeo put up his game-high tallies of 27 points with five assists and a team-high of six rebounds — as Triton enjoyed a 28-18 advantage in the battle of the boards — the Trojans saw strong supporting play from several players. Junior Tanner Shepherd put up 16 points after stepping up with a team-best 18 points with Yeo sidelined in Triton’s win over ECA Thursday night, while junior forward Cody Shively finished with eight points, seven rebounds and four assists after his 10-point output Thursday, and junior guard Darren Harrell scored five points with four assists versus Glenn.
“We knew that Yeo was going to get his 25 to 30,” said Glenn head coach Travis Hannah. “We talked about that coming out, and we wanted to find ways to limit the other guys from scoring, and Shepherd has 16 and Shively has eight. Clay makes them so good because those other guys make shots when they need to make shots, and that’s a point that we’re still trying to get to with our kids. We’ll get there; it’s a growing process right now.”
Glenn was paced by sophomore Jacob Strong’s 18 points to go with four assists working off dribble penetration, and he did a creditable job defending Yeo. Junior Austen Hayes knocked down 4-of-6 3-pointers on his way to 15 points, and his team felt his absence when he was benched with his second foul during the game’s critical second quarter.
“I thought we ran into trouble when Austin picked up his second foul in the second quarter. Maybe we should’ve kept him out there a little bit longer, but then he came in in the third quarter and picked up his third,” said Hannah. “I think it hurt us offensively when he had to go off the floor.”
The win represents the fifth straight for Triton and moves the Trojans to 2-0 in the NSC — one of three unbeaten squads in the competitive conference along with Bremen and Jimtown — and 7-3 overall.
“It seems like this season has kind of been about fighting through adversity. We’ve had kids out and kind of mixed and matched here and there. The kids have done a nice job fighting through it, and we’re finally doing some nice things I think,” said Groves. “It’s always nice to get your first two conference wins against quality opponents. But both of them were at home. You’ve got to be able to win on the road in this conference, and there are a lot of good teams so it’s going to be a battle. It’s nice to get those first two wins.”
Glenn slips to 1-7 overall with an 0-2 league mark after jumping on Triton early following the team’s first win at Argos before Christmas break.
“The Northern State the last couple years, one loss you have a chance of sharing it with somebody. We thought with Bremen beating LaVille last night, this was a big game for us because it put us back into position where we held our own destiny, but we need it was going to very difficult coming over here. It gives us two losses, and you never know. Bremen, Culver, Jimtown, they’re playing a lot better in our conference this year, so there are no gimmes for sure,” said Hannah.
“For us, it’s about getting better. We’re still young, we’re going to make mistakes, it’s how we learn and adjust and hopefully by the end of February we’re playing our best basketball.”
Triton and Glenn both resume NSC play at home Friday. The Trojans play host to Culver, while the Falcons take on Bremen at The Aerie.
• TRITON 65, JOHN GLENN 46
Score by quarters
Glenn: 20 24 30 46
Triton: 13 31 46 65
GLENN (46): Adam Stull 0, Tyler Prentkowski 4, Alec Runyan 4, Austen Hayes 15, Isaac Keldsen 0, Drew McDonald 0, Jacob Strong 18, Calvin Kretchmer 2, Nathan Stegemiller 3, Levi Schleg 0; Totals: 16 8-10 46.
TRITON (65): Joey Corder 3, Clay Yeo 27, Darren Harrell 5, Bryce Wanemacher 0, Trenton Cooper 0, Tanner Shepherd 16, Seth Glingle 0, Cody Shively 8, Drew Mosson 3, Dillon Meadway 0, Skyler Reichert 3; Totals: 25 8-13 65.
3-pointers: Glenn 6 (Hayes 4, Strong, Stegemiller), Triton 7 (Shepherd 2, Corder, Yeo, Harrell, Mosson, Reichert); Rebounds: Glenn 18 (Runyan 5), Triton 28 (Yeo 8, Shively 7); Turnovers: Glenn 12, Triton 8; Steals: Glenn 4, Triton 6 (Shepherd 2, Shively 2); Assists: Glenn 8 (Strong 4), Triton 18 (Yeo 5, Harrell 4, Shively 4); Fouls (fouled out): Glenn 18 (none), Triton 14 (none).
Records: Triton 7-3 (2-0 NSC), Glenn 1-7 (0-2 NSC)
JV score: Triton 40 (Bryce Wanemacher 12, Skyler Reichert 10), Glenn 26 (Joel Hadden 14)