WALKERTON — Simply put, Triton’s Clay Yeo took over.
Following a scoreless first frame, the 6-foot-6 junior guard piled up a game-high 30 points, snagged 10 rebounds and dished out three assists to lead the Class A No. 8 Trojans to a 54-38 Northern State Conference boys basketball win over John Glenn at The Aerie Saturday.
Yeo, who hit 10 of 15 from the field with three put-backs and a pair of layups off backdoor lobs from senior point guard Zak Shively, also spearheaded a mighty team defensive effort, holding Glenn leading scorer Josh Anderson to 11 points on 3-of-13 shooting from the field.
“We didn’t change anything, Clay just became more active,” Triton head coach Jason Groves said of Yeo’s offensive output. “It’s all to Clay’s credit. He’s a good enough player to take over a game when he feels like it, and he felt like it in the second quarter.
“Clay did a nice job against Anderson cutting off his penetration,” he added. “Clay played the whole game; he guarded the other team’s best player; he played a good all-around game. It was a team effort defensively. (Glenn’s) so dangerous with penetration and cutting to the basket, and they’re good shooters. We wanted to pinch off their penetration and close out, and I thought we did a good job of that.”
Two key 3s — a tie-breaking second-quarter buzzer-beater from Yeo and another from sophomore Tanner Shepherd off a Cody Shively kickout to tip off the third stanza — helped the Trojans’ offense dismiss a shaky start and seize command. Triton nailed 12 of 18 field-goal attempts after the intermission.
“We were struggling offensively; it seemed like we were in a fog,” Groves said. “We had a hard time recognizing (Glenn’s) man versus their zone. We had been out of whack, and that was huge to hit those two 3s. It gave our offense confidence, changed the momentum, and we were able to propel forward.”
Yeo drained his game-changing 3 from well beyond the top of the key to give Triton a 19-16 halftime edge — a lead it maintained the rest of the way — and set the stage for his 22-point second-half outburst.
“The disappointing thing about the end of the quarter is we had a senior guarding the screen and a senior guarding Yeo, and we don’t jump out at him,” Glenn head coach Travis Hannah said. “You can’t allow Yeo to get a shot, even though he hit it from 24 or 25 feet. We have to get the ball out of his hands; he’s too good of a player to give him a clean look.
“That changed the game,” he added. “It’s 16-16 and then he hits a 3 so we go in down 19-16 instead of tied. Then in the third quarter we get down seven or eight right away and we’re trying to play catch up.”
Meanwhile, the Trojans’ man-to-man defense with some 1-3-1 zone mixed in jammed up driving lanes and kept the undersized Falcons aiming from 3-point range where they finished 3 of 25. Glenn wound up 12 for 43 — 28 percent — overall from the field.
“We didn’t hit shots,” Hannah said. “Our shooting was absolutely horrendous. They do such a good job cutting off penetration; we don’t have much of a post presence, so we had to shoot from the outside.”
Also for the Trojans, Shepherd pitched in 15 points, including a 3-pointer during a 9-0 spurt that gave Triton a 36-23 lead heading in to the fourth frame.
“I thought the team stepped up as a whole,” Groves said. “Drew Mosson came off the bench and played well defensively. Bryson Mosier played well defensively. Cody Shively and Seth Glingle fly under the radar. They do the dirty work and usually don’t get enough credit.”
For Glenn, Anderson registered nine caroms and three assists to go along with his team-leading 11 points. Sophomore Austen Hayes cracked double figures with 10 points, highlighted by a pair of second-quarter treys, the second of which knotted the score at 16-all for the Falcons with 1:01 to go in the first half.
Glenn senior post Tom Knape left the game early in the fourth quarter with a dislocated left shoulder. His future availability was unknown Saturday.
“Tyler Prentkowski scored 17 points against Argos and doesn’t play tonight,” Hannah said. “We’re still missing Charlie Dreeseen, and then Knape went down, so we’re dinged up right now. The same thing happened to Knape during football, and he was able to play the next week, but you can hand the ball off 80 times; you need two arms to play basketball.”
Triton heads to Culver Saturday, while Glenn travels to Bremen Friday.
• TRITON 54,
JOHN GLENN 38
Score by quarters
Triton: 3 19 36 54
Glenn: 6 16 23 38
TRITON (54): Clay Yeo 11 6-8 30, Zak Shively 2 3-4 7, Bryson Mosier 0 0-0 0, Tanner Shepherd 6 0-0 15, Seth Glingle 0 0-0 0, Cody Shively 1 0-0 2, Drew Mosson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20 9-12 54.
GLENN (38): Nathan Stegemiller 3 0-0 7, Josh Anderson 3 5-6 11, Tom Knape 0 3-4 3, Adam Stull 0 0-0 0, Austen Haysen 4 0-0 10, Jake Strong 2 3-4 7, Michael Schmeltz 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 11-14 38.
3-point goals: Triton 5 (Shepherd 3, Yeo 2), Glenn 3 (Hayes 2, Stegemiller); Turnovers: Triton 10, Glenn 8; Rebounds: Triton 21 (Yeo 10), Glenn 26 (Anderson 9); Assists: Triton 10 (Yeo, Z. Shively 3), Glenn 8 (Anderson, Strong 3); Steals: Triton 4 (Shepherd 2), Glenn 4 (Anderson, Strong 2); Fouls (fouled out): Triton 10 (none), Glenn 18 (none).
Records: Triton 7-3 (2-0 NSC), Glenn 4-5 (1-1 NSC).