HAMLET — Triton baited the trap, and Argos stepped right into it time after time after time.
The Trojans’ 1-3-1 halfcourt trap forced 26 turnovers and held Argos to 33 percent from the field en route to a 39-32 Class A Girls Basketball Sectional 50 semifinal win at Oregon-Davis Friday night.
The Trojans take on host and four-time defending sectional champion OD tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST.
“We make it a goal to hold teams below 35 points, and we’ve done it two games in a row,” Triton head coach Adam Heckaman said. “We tell the girls that if the other team doesn’t score we can’t be beaten.
“We played pretty good defense in the first half, but in the second half we locked down,” he added. “We were in position. We were aggressive. For Argos, (point guard Jami) Patterson can split gaps, but we thought the rest of their ballhandlers would have trouble against our pressure. With Shana Anderson’s long arms and another pair of long arms we can get a lot of pressure on the perimeter and make it tough to see the floor.”
Triton saved some of its best defensive work for the final frame, allowing just a Karalei Kring 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in the game.
“We didn’t handle the ball well,” Argos head coach Nick Medich said. “We turned the ball over our first four possessions of the game. It felt like we were down 20, when it was only a four- or five-point game. It was frustrating for everyone from the coaching staff down to the managers. Everything we thought (Triton) was going to do, they did.
“Two things happened,” he added. “First, they played the 1-3-1 really well. Second, we’re young. There were times when one extra dribble might have gotten us a layup or we wouldn’t penetrate when we were supposed to, but that’s probably the best 1-3-1 we’ve seen in a long time.”
Meanwhile, Anderson emerged from a recent shooting slump with a game-high 15 points, including a trio of treys, and also swiped four steals from the point of Triton’s defense.
“We just told (Anderson) to relax and let the game come to you,” Heckaman said. “She had a good game in a really big game, and that’s nice to see.”
Megan Howdeshell, who hauled in nine rebounds, and Allison Thacker added 10 points apiece for Triton.
Thacker drilled a buzzer-beating jumper to put the Trojans up 21-19 at halftime and for good. And after Patterson hit a triple from the left corner to trim Triton’s lead to four as time expired in the third stanza, Thacker countered with a 3-pointer of her own to put the Trojans right back up by seven, 36-29, with 7:17 left in the game.
“(Argos) made a good play at the end of the third quarter,” Heckaman said. “That could have taken the air out of us. We came back, settled down and got the shot we wanted. I think Megan kicked out to Allison on an inside-out, and Allison stepped up and hit the shot.”
Patterson scored a team-leading eight points for Argos. Senior Latisha Shepherd added 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Argos now bids farewell to Shepherd and classmate Alex Zechiel.
“Our seniors started the year with a new coach, new system, new attitude, new philosophy,” Medich said. “They bought into it, and I’m proud they did, and they encouraged others to buy into it. They’ve had three different coaches in three years, and that had to be tough. They’re fine young ladies, and I’m proud that they’re Argos Dragons.”
Class A Sectional 50
• TRITON 39, ARGOS 32
Score by quarters
Argos: 9 19 29 32
Triton: 12 21 33 39
ARGOS (32): Jami Patterson 2 2-4 8, Alex Zechiel 2 0-0 6, Karalei Kring 1 0-0 3, Keri Bair 0 0-0 0, Karlee VanDerWeele 2 0-0 4, Latisha Shepherd 1 3-4 5, Shelby Sanders 0 0-0 0, Carly McCay 1 0-0 2, Emily Alcorn 0 0-0 0, Madeline Williams 0 0-0 0, Kayla Prochno 2 0-3 4. TOTALS: 11 5-11 32.
TRITON (39): Hannah Downing 0 0-0 0, Lindsay Ganshorn 0 0-0 0, Emily Duff 1 2-5 4, Sarah Stichter 0 0-0 0, Allison Thacker 3 3-4 10, Aundrea Sellers 0 0-0 0, Shana Anderson 5 2-4 15, Megan Howdeshell 4 2-3 10. TOTALS: 13 9-16 39.
3-point goals: Argos 5 (Patterson 2, Zechiel 2, Kring), Triton 4 (Anderson 3, Thacker); Turnovers: Argos 26, Triton 15; Rebounds: Argos 28 (Shepherd 10), Triton 26 (Howdeshell 9); Assists: Argos 8 (Shepherd 3), Triton 7 (Stichter, Thacker 2); Steals: Argos 8 (Shepherd 4), Triton 12 (Anderson 4); Fouls (fouled out): Argos 16 (none), Triton 11 (none); Records: Argos 10-11 (final), Triton 12-9.