Jacob King came off the bench to score 18 points for the Trinity High School basketball team, which overcame a sluggish start Friday to beat Waggener 68-53 in the Republic Bank Boys Louisville Invitational Tournament quarterfinals at Valley.
After missing the first 14 games of the season because of a broken left pinky finger, King has seen his scoring improve in each of the four games he’s played for the Shamrocks (17-1), the top-ranked team in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings.
“The finger is at 100 percent, but I’m definitely trying to knock off the rust a little bit,” King said. “It feels really good to be getting back out there.”
Waggener (13-5) led 23-10 in the opening seconds of the second quarter before Trinity stormed back. The second-seeded Rocks finished the half on an 18-4 run over the final 4:46, with Lukas Burkman’s layup at with 1:38 remaining finally putting them on top, 28-27.
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Trinity never trailed the rest of the way, as the Rocks built the lead up to 18 four times in the final period. However, coach Mike Szabo wasn’t completely satisfied with his team’s performance, saying his team did not match the Wildcats intensity at the start.
“Tonight, I thought we just kind of survived,” said Szabo, whose team shot 52.7 percent (29 of 55) and outrebounded the Wildcats 40-25 but gave away 14 turnovers. “We hung on and won.”
L.J. Harris added 16 points for Trinity. Jacquess Hobbs led Waggener with 25 points.
Wildcats coach Bryan O’Neill said his young team, which started two sophomores, did not do a good enough job of negating the Shamrocks’ height advantage.
“I think we didn’t do a good job rebounding the ball,” said O’Neill, as Trinity grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, which led to 13 points. “They really crash the boards hard.”
TRINITY 68, WAGGENER 53
Waggener (13-5) – Ron Fell 3p, Ethan Taylor 3p, Kevion Hudson 5p, Jaago Kalakon 13p 6r, Jacquess Hobbs 25p, Ben Simic 3p, Jocobi Hendricks 1p.
Trinity (17-1) – Jacob King 18p, David Burton 3p, David Johnson 9p 8r, L.J. Harris 16p 7r, Justin Powell 4p, Jay Scrubb 6p, Stan Turnier 1p, Lucas Burkman 11p.