BOURBON — Second-ranked Triton continued its recent dominance of Class A Boys Basketball Sectional 50, although not without a scare.
Meanwhile, a 29-percent mark from the field and 27 points from Westville’s Dan Warnke doomed Argos in a 64-40 loss in the second sectional semifinal Friday at The Trojan Trench.
The host Trojans, 46-39 winners over South Central behind five 3-pointers from senior Griffyn Carpenter, seek their fourth consecutive crown tonight in a championship-round clash with Westville at 7 p.m.
TRITON 46, SOUTH CENTRAL 39
The Trojans actually absorbed a couple of blows from the Satellites.
Led by senior guard Matt Walker, South Central polished off the first quarter with a 10-0 spurt to open a 16-5 lead. Then, after Triton kicked off the second half with a 19-4 run to claim a 40-26 lead of its own with 6:23 left in the game, South Central fired back with 11 unanswered points and even missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer from the left wing with less than 3 minutes to play.
Senior Jordan Everett, after keeping a Triton possession alive with an offensive rebound off a missed free throw, delivered a dagger with a trey from the right corner to put the Trojans up 43-37 with 1:46 left in the game.
“These kids have been in a lot of situations,” Triton head coach Jason Groves said. “These guys have seen all sorts of scenarios, any that you could possibly imagine. Tonight was about survival and get by any way you can. We told our guys that (South Central) was going to give us their best shot.”
Carpenter, who sat nearly half the game in foul trouble, made the most of his minutes with a team-high 17 points, including 5 of 7 from deep. His triple from the left corner, off of a dish from Everett, opened the second half and gave the Trojans a 24-22 edge with 6:48 to go in the third stanza.
“That’s what he does,” Groves said of Carpenter, the school’s career scoring leader. “He shoots a very high percentage from 3-point range. We got him looks, and he knocked them down. That’s not uncommon for him.”
Triton super sophomore Clay Yeo added 11 points, including an exclamation mark with a rebound and coast-to-coast dunk with 6 seconds left in the game. He also yanked down a game-leading eight rebounds for the Trojans, who out-boarded South Central 32-18 after a slow start.
Everett chipped in 10 points, six rebounds, and three steals; senior Austin Davis pulled in six rebounds; and sophomore Quentyn Carpenter dished out three assists for Triton.
Defensively, Triton battled through a rough start and held the Satellites to just eight points combined during the middle two frames.
“In the first quarter we gave up 16 points,” Groves said. “We put two keys on the board before the game. One was defense, the second was rebounding. We didn’t do either to start the game.”
Walker penetrated and ran the floor to a game-high 20 points for South Central, including eight apiece during the first and final stanzas. Luke Kitchell pulled down six rebounds for the Satellites.
“The first half was the best half we’ve played all year,” South Central head coach Dan Warkentien said. “In the third quarter we scored two points. (Triton) hit some 3s in the corner. We had guys with hands up, exactly the way they were supposed to do.
“Our kids did what they were supposed to do; their kids did what they were supposed to do eventually,” he added. “I was proud of them. I thought literally every kid brought his A game. We played a good game and were with them right down to the wire.”
The Dragons hung around in the first half, but Westville, after throwing the ball away in each of its first two third-quarter trips down the floor, outscored Argos 10-2 to open the second half and pulled away for the convincing win.
And after turning the ball over just five times during the first 16 minutes, the Dragons coughed it up 12 times after the break against Westville’s aggressive man to man defense.
“It’s disappointing,” Argos head coach Doug Snyder said. “We talked in the locker room about the importance of the first few minutes. (Westville) gave us a couple of opportunities, but we didn’t take advantage. That set the tone for the rest of the second half. We did a good job in the first half with turnovers, and then in the second half we had silly turnovers.”
Warnke, a 5-foot-10 junior guard, drilled 7-of-12 attempts from 3-point land and piled up four steals to lead the Blackhawks. His third triple lifted Westville to a 30-22 halftime advantage, and his fourth started the second-half opening run.
“(Warnke’s) had games of five, six, even 11, and now seven,” Westville head coach Bill Berger said. “He’s a very good shooter when he can set his feet and take it.
“I thought our offensive effort started with our defensive effort,” he said. “We talked about not leaving your feet and not going for the fake. Offensively, the kids ran the pattern we ran pretty well and moved the ball. We got a lot of offense off of transition defense.”
Westville point guard Jesse Mills provided 18 points and three rebounds, giving the Blackhawks a potent 1-2 backcourt punch.
“We knew Mills would cause us trouble, and we knew Warnke was a good shooter,” Snyder said. “They’d miss a shot, get the rebound and get it in Warnke’s hands, and he’d hit a 3. He shot the ball extremely well. I give him a lot of credit.”
Senior Matt Hollar scored eight of his team-high 10 points during the first half to lead the Dragons. Classmate Sam Edmonds pulled in eight caroms, and freshman Dominic Cataldo added eight points — all during a span of less than two minutes during the first half.
Argos now loses Hollar, Edmonds, Duane Spencer, Dylan Colburn, Joep Schlosser and Zack Smith to graduation. With starting freshmen guards Cataldo and Taylor Ogle, as well as freshmen sectional participants Brian Snyder and Ben Carter in the fold, the Argos skipper sees brighter days ahead.
“This summer our guys need to work to get stronger, get quicker, and get smarter with the ball,” he said. “If this game doesn’t prove that I don’t know what will. But I think we’ve got the right kids that will make the commitment to do those things.”
• CLASS A SECTIONAL 50 SEMIFINALS
TRITON 46, SOUTH CENTRAL 39
Score by quarters
Triton: 5 21 32 46
South Central: 16 22 24 39
TRITON (46): Griffyn Carpenter 6 0-0 17, Clay Yeo 5 1-4 11, Quentyn Carpenter 0 1-2 1, Austin Davis 1 0-0 2, Jordan Everett 3 2-4 10, Zak Shively 1 1-2 3, Blake Lemler 1 0-0 2, Dane Kennedy 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 5-12 46.
SOUTH CENTRAL (39): Alex Clemons 1 0-0 2, Matt Walker 10 0-1 20, Ricky Rigsby 2 0-0 4, Luke Kitchell 2 0-3 4, Marcus Kammrath 1 1-2 3, Graham Max 0 0-0 0, Ben Rosebaum 2 0-0 6, Greg Girard 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18 1-6 39.
3-point goals: Triton 7 (G. Carpenter 5, Everett 2), South Central 2 (Rosebaum); Turnovers: Triton 12, South Central; Rebounds: Triton 32 (Yeo 8), South Central 18 (Kitchell 6); Assists: Triton 8 (Q. Carpenter 3), South Central 11 (Clemons, Kammrath 3); Steals: Triton 7 (Everett 3), South Central 6 (Clemons 3); Fouls (fouled out): Triton 11 (none), South Central 9 (none); Records: Triton 19-3, South Central 12-9 (final).
WESTVILLE 64, ARGOS 40
Score by quarters
Argos: 7 22 29 40
Westville: 17 30 42 64
ARGOS (40): Taylor Ogle 1 0-0 3, Dominic Cataldo 2 2-3 8, Justin Cunningham 0 0-0 0, Brian Snyder 2 0-2 5, Duane Spencer 3 1-2 7, Matt Hollar 1 7-8 10, Dylan Colburn 1 1-1 3, Joep Schlosser 0 0-2 0, Alex Blum 0 0-0 0, Sam Edmonds 2 0-0 4, Ben Carter 0 0-0 0, Zack Smith 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 11-18 40.
WESTVILLE (64): Christian Porter 0 2-2 2, Luke Bell 0 0-0 0, Dan Warnke 8 4-4 27, Ryan Gumns 0 0-0 0, Brian Popp 0 0-0 0, Kevin Stone-Tharp 0 0-0 0, Jesse Mills 5 8-8 18, Glen Cole 0 0-0 0, Skyler Rippe 0 0-0 0, Mike Grylewicz 0 0-0 0, Reilly Wilson 2 6-8 10, Lou Grounds 3 1-4 7. TOTALS: 18 21-26 64.
3-point goals: Argos 5 (Cataldo 2, Ogle, Snyder, Hollar), Westville 7 (Warnke); Turnovers: Argos 17, Westville 14; Rebounds: Argos 25 (Edmonds 7), 33 (Grounds 8); Assists: Argos 8 (Cataldo, Hollar, Edmonds 2), Westville 8 (Mills 3); Steals: Argos 4 (Ogle, Cataldo 2), Westville 8 (Warnke 4); Fouls (fouled out): Argos 21 (Edmonds), Westville 15 (none); Records: Argos 1-20 (final), Westville 11-11.