Trojans advance, Lions falter at boys Bi-County semifinals

LAKEVILLE — Triton earned a chance to play for its third straight Bi-County Championship with a victory over John Glenn, while New Prairie earned a berth opposite the Trojans for a bid at its first championship in 39 years with a win over Bremen in the semifinals at the 47th annual tourney at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium Saturday.
Clay Yeo led the Class A No. 7 Trojans as usual, but Triton got nice production from junior forward Seth Glingle as well as point guard Zak Shively and shooting guard Tanner Shepherd, and the Trojans led from the 1:07 mark of the first until the final buzzer against the Falcons.
“We’re getting a lot better. A lot of these kids are improving, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Trojans head coach Jason Groves. “We talk a lot about getting better as the season goes on, not just as a team but as individuals. I think Seth Glingle stepped up big tonight, so it was nice to see that. It was nice to see some other people contribute and they’re capable of doing that. This team is just unique because I think they know who to get the ball to, but when we need some other kids to step up, they will.”
Yeo put up 21 points with nine caroms to lead all scorers and rebounders in the win, and when Glenn players doubled down on him, the 6-6 junior Valparaiso recruit passed over the top for six assists at the game. Glingle was the main beneficiary of these passes with 12 points in the paint, while Shively dished out six helpers of his own to complement his seven points, and Shepherd finished with eight points as the Trojans converted at a 61-percent rate from the field.
“That’s one good thing about Clay is he’s able to find the open man,” said Groves. “They were running two guys at him hard, and he was able to pass out of it. That’s one reason Seth was able to step up. It’s hard to really run two guys at him and really contain him because he’s such a good passer.”
While Triton was able to find some deep production, Glenn struggled as leading scorer Josh Anderson finished with just five points at the contest.
Anderson focused more on distributing the ball from the point, but Glenn scuffled to a 37 percent clip from the floor led by Austen Hayes’ 14 points. Nathan Stegemiller recorded eight points, Jake Strong finished with seven, and Charlie Dreesen put up six for the Falcons.
“It’s a delicate balance because we told Josh tonight that if he came out and had double digit assists we were going to be in good shape,” said Glenn head coach Travis Hannah. “Then we come out and we don’t shoot the ball well, he has a hard time getting those assists, then you need him to be more aggressive in looking for his own shot. It’s difficult for a high school kid to switch back and forth. I don’t care how great an athlete he is, when he comes into the game thinking ‘OK, I’ve got to pass the ball; I’ve got to get more guys involved’ then when the game doesn’t start out the way you need it to start out and guys aren’t hitting shots and you try to change his role within a game, that’s very difficult for any kid.”
The Falcons were also plagued by foul trouble in the loss as they finished with 22 fouls compared to 10 by Triton. The Trojans converted only 7 of 19 free throws, but several key Glenn players were in foul trouble throughout the night, and Dreesen and Michael Schmeltz both fouled out early in the fourth.
“Foul trouble affected us tonight. I thought the officiating was God awful. You can print that because it was,” said Hannah. “It’s usually a good officiating crew, but tonight I didn’t think they had their best game.
“We were never really in it. It got to six a few times, but realistically you know that we’re having trouble getting stops, we’ve got guys in foul trouble.”
At Lakeville (Bi-County Semifinal)
Score by quarters
Triton: 18 28 40 56
Glenn: 12 18 30 42
TRITON (56): Clay Yeo 8 4-7 21, Zak Shively 2 2-2 7, Nick Nordmann 0 0-2 0, Jackson Downing 0 0-0 0, Bryson Mosier 2 0-0 6, Tanner Shepherd 3 1-3 8, Seth Glingle 6 0-4 12, Cody Shively 0 0-0 0, Drew Mosson 1 0-0 2; Totals: 22 7-19 56.
GLENN (42): Nathan Stegemiller 3 0-0 8, Josh Anderson 2 1-2 5, Austen Hayes 5 0-1 14, Jake Strong 2 3-4 7, Charlie Dreessen 3 0-2 6, Michael Schmeltz 1 0-0 2, Pat Wolff 0 0-0 0, Adam Stull 0 0-0 0; Totals: 16 4-9 42.
3-pointers: Triton 5 (Mosier 2, Yeo, Z. Shively, Shepherd), Glenn 6 (Hayes 4, Stegemiller 2); Turnovers: Triton 15, Flenn 9; Rebounds: Triton 27 (Yeo 9), Glenn 24 (Anderson 6); Steals: Triton 4 (Z. Shively, Mosier, Glingle, C. Shively), Glenn 7 (Anderson 2, Strong 2); Assists: Triton 14 (Yeo 6, Z. Shively 6), Glenn 8 (Anderson 3); Fouls (fouled out): Triton 12 (none), Glenn 22 (Schmeltz, Dreesen).
Records: Triton 10-3, Glenn 6-6
Bremen hung tough for a quarter, but an 18-9 second quarter by the Cougars put the Lions in the hole for good as they took a loss to Northern State Conference rival New Prairie.
“Even though the first quarter wasn’t as bad on the scoreboard, it was still a matter of our defensive intensity,” said Bremen coach Ryan Eakins. “We played pretty well offensively in the first quarter because we hit a couple shots, but as soon as they got really aggressive defensively we backed off, we weren’t aggressive, and that lack of aggressiveness on the offensive end translated to the same thing defensively.”
The game was knotted at 10-all before the Cougars closed out the first frame 5-0 in the period’s final 1:04. Bremen was within still within five with 2:46 remaining in the first half before New Prairie finished out the frame 9-0 to take a 33-19 halftime cushion.
“They hit 3s at the end of two quarters. The first one was just a lucky shot, shake the kid’s hand,” said Eakins. “The second one, we had good defense, and we let a kid shoot a 3 who’s not a good shooter in our opinion, and it went in. We close out, we had a hand in his face, and they hit the shot.”
Bremen was led by Ethan Pike’s 13 points and six rebounds, while Ben Hueni finished with 11 in the loss.
“Ethan is the best player on the floor. He’s got to play like that every night. He missed some bunnies tonight; he could’ve gotten more. He has to bring the mind-set on both ends, defensively and attacking the basket because most every night he’s the best player on the floor,” said Eakins.
“Ben I thought battled. He’s got a lot of grit. He hasn’t had his legs for most of the season, and his shot’s not falling from the perimeter, but he plays his butt off, and he’s got a ton of heart. Another guy that I appreciate that doesn’t get a lot of attention is Tim Zimmer. The kid absolutely works his tail off all the time with not a lot of credit because he doesn’t score a lot.”
New Prairie was paced by 15 points from Mitchell Mrozinski and 10 from Austin Ginter.
The Cougars will play Triton in a rematch of their overtime Bi-County opener at New Prairie last season.
“It’s the championship game of the Bi-County. I think they’re going to be ready to go,” said Trojans coach Jason Groves. “New Prairie has a really good team this year. Playing teams twice is not a fun thing, but it’s going to happen, and they’re going to be well-prepared. We know each other well, and we have a lot of good battles. That’s what it’s going to be. It’s going to be a battle so hopefully our kids are focused and ready to go.”
At Lakeville (Bi-County Semifinal)
Score by quarters
Bremen: 10 19 32 47
New Prairie: 15 33 51 62
BREMEN (47): Austin Huff 3 0-0 6, Ethan Pike 6 1-1 13, Jacob Box 4 2-4 10, Ben Hueni 4 2-3 11, T.J. Bayer 1 0-0 2, Mitch Huppert 0 2-4 2, Tim Zimmer 1 1-2 3; Totals: 19 8-14 47.
NEW PRAIRIE (62): Matt Winter 4 0-1 8, Austin Ginter 3 3-4 10, CJ Kowalski 2 0-0 5, Zach Rehlander 0 3-4 3, Jasen Webb 3 2-3 9, Mitchell Mrozinski 7 1-2 15, Tyler Szynal 2 3-4 8, Derek Scott 1 0-0 3, Aaron Bladecki 0 1-2 1, Noah Shail 0 0-0 0; Totals: 22 13-20 62.
3-pointers: Bremen 1 (Hueni), New Prairie 5 (Ginter, Kowalski, Webb, Szynal, Scott); Turnovers: Bremen 11, New Prairie 8; Rebounds: Bremen 28 (Pike 6), New Prairie 32 (Ginter 9); Steals: Bremen 4 (Huff 2), New Prairie 6 (Rehlander 5); Assists: Bremen 6 (Bayer 2, Zimmer 2); New Prairie 10 (Rehlander 6)
Records: Bremen 5-6, New Prairie 9-4