LAKEVILLE — With the game’s first basket Friday in the Bi-County Boys Basketball Tournament semifinal round, Triton’s Griffyn Carpenter broke his school’s career scoring record.
And he never really stopped scoring the entire night.
The 6-foot-1 senior powered his way to a game-high 29 points and led the Class A No. 3 Trojans to a 59-44 win over host LaVille at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium.
Triton looks for its second straight title tonight, against Culver Community. Game time is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
“I was eager to get it out of the way,” Carpenter, who eclipsed 2004 grad Todd Blackford’s 1,077 career points with a fadeaway jumper at the first quarter’s 6:47 mark, said. “I’m happy to have the record, and more importantly, I’m happy we won. LaVille’s got a tough team.”
Coming off back-to-back 34-point outbursts, the husky Carpenter finished 10 of 14 from the field, led by a combination of drives to the bucket, strong moves in the post, mid-range fadeaway jumpers, and a pair of treys.
“(Carpenter) just has so much confidence right now,” Triton head coach Jason Groves said. “He’s playing so well inside. He’s trying to be crafty with his decisions. Early in the season he’d lower his head and try to bowl his way to the basket. Now, he’s seeing, ‘There’s a lot of points in there if I’m smart and crafty.’”
Primarily a long-range threat early in his career, Carpenter said he expanded his offensive repertoire over the summer.
“I took a lot of time this summer working to transition into a more well-rounded game,” Carpenter said. “I took it upon myself for college to develop more weapons; I didn’t want to be a one-dimensional player. It’s taken a lot of time, but I wanted to try to develop more of my game.”
The Trojans needed Carpenter’s high-scoring ways against a scrappy LaVille team that withstood several Triton runs, and even led on multiple occasions in the first half, somewhat reminiscent of last year when the Lancers beat Triton during the regular season.
“We knew it was going to be a close game,” Groves said. “Offensively, LaVille took us out of a lot of things that we wanted to do. Defensively, we did execute a lot of things well. We settled down after the beginning.
“They knocked us off our pedestal last year,” Groves said. “We were 16-0. They beat us and cost us a chance to win the conference outright. That left a bitter taste. The kids played with emotion tonight. We need to control that emotion and execute, and we did that for the most part.”
And Triton’s defense eventually won out. Rotating between man-to-man and a 1-3-1 halfcourt trap, the Trojans held LaVille to 3 of 16 from 3-point range, and even swatted or deflected three 3-point attempts.
Meanwhile, the Lancers hurt themselves with a 9-of-16 performance at the foul line.
“We could have had a better chance if we hadn’t gone 3 of 16 for 3s,” LaVille head coach Michael Edison said. “If two or three more of those had gone in that wouldn’t have been that rare for our team. That’s another six or nine points, and I don’t know how many front ends of one and ones that we missed. You do those type of things against a team like Triton and you’re going to have a hard time winning.”
Talented 6-5 Triton sophomore Clay Yeo added 15 points. His conventional 3-point play put the Trojans up for good, 19-17, with 4:01 left in the first half, and Triton finally stretched its lead to double digits for the duration on a Yeo bucket off an inbound play with 3:04 left in the game.
Also for Triton, Blake Lemler pulled in five rebounds, and sophomore Quentyn Carpenter added seven points.
LaVille’s Jordyn Williams scored a team-high 14 points, and senior forward Codee Kimbel fought inside for 11 points and a game-best eight rebounds. Kimbel twice cut LaVille’s deficit to three points in the middle of the third quarter, but the Lancers came no closer the rest of the game.
Sophomore Nick Amor contributed nine points, and seven rebounds for LaVille.
• TRITON 59,
Score by quarters
Triton: 11 27 41 59
LaVille: 13 23 36 44
TRITON (59): Griffyn Carpenter 10 7-10 29, Clay Yeo 7 1-2 15, Dane Kennedy 0 0- 0, Marc Lindsey 0 1-2 1, Quentyn Carpenter 2 2-2 7, Austin Davis 1 0-1 2, Jordan Everett 2 0-1 4, Blake Lemler 0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 22 12-20 59.
LaVILLE (44): Trenton Stout 0 0-0 0, Jordyn Williams 5 3-6 14, Jason Duerring 0 0-0 0, Landon Manuel 1 2-2 5, Codee Kimbel 5 1-3 11, Tim Wicks 0 0-0 0, Andrew Hostetler 1 0-0 3, Nick Amor 3 3-5 9, Justin Baker 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 16 9-16 44.
3-point goals: Triton 3 (G. Carpenter 2, Q. Carpenter), LaVille 3 (Williams, Manuel, Hostetler); Turnovers: Triton 9, LaVille 11; Rebounds: Triton 25 (Lemler 5), LaVille 23 (Kimbel 8); Assists: Triton 7 (G. Carpenter 2), LaVille 5 (Kimbel 2); Steals: Triton 3, LaVille 1; Fouls (fouled out): Triton 18 (Yeo), LaVille 21 (none); Records: Triton 10-3, LaVille 6-6.