Spalding scores 29 as Trinity runs down Manual 62-45 in Seventh Region basketball semifinal

Spalding scores 29 as Trinity runs down Manual 62-45 in Seventh Region basketball semifinal

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Spalding scores 29 as Trinity runs down Manual 62-45 in Seventh Region basketball semifinal

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With coaches from Indiana University and Clemson watching, Raymond Spalding put on a show and propelled the Trinity High School basketball team into its third straight Seventh Region Tournament championship game.

The 6-foot-9 junior scored a career-high 29 points and added 12 rebounds and three blocks as the Shamrocks pulled away late to beat Manual 62-45 on Sunday in a regional semifinal at Valley.

“He played with high energy,” Trinity coach Mike Szabo said. “He was around a lot of things today and really impacted the game quite a bit at both ends. There’s still a lot left in his tank as far as potential goes, but he helped us big time tonight.”

He was especially big in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points — including two dunks — as the Shamrocks outscored the Crimsons 26-9.

“In the fourth quarter, we really put it together and played as a team and a unit,” Spalding said. “We outscored them 26-9 in the fourth quarter, and that really counts.”

Daniel Ramser added nine points as Trinity (28-5) — No. 2 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings — advanced to face No. 1 Ballard in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional final.

Dwayne Sutton posted 19 points and 12 rebounds and TyRon Horton added 10 points for No. 18 Manual (20-10), which trailed just 43-40 with 4:44 remaining but was outscored 19-5 the rest of the way.

“We just kind of lost our focus in the fourth quarter,” Manual coach Jimmy Just said. “It just snowballed on us. The effort was fine, but we just made some bad decisions. That was the difference this year was just our inconsistency.”

Manual scratched and clawed for three quarters, taking a 30-26 lead on Sutton’s 3-pointer with 5:00 left in the third quarter and going ahead for the final time on Sutton’s jumper that made it 38-36 with 7:11 remaining in the fourth.

Ramser answered with a three to give Trinity the lead for good, 39-38, with 6:48 left. Sutton’s basket with 4:44 left pulled Manual within 43-40, but the Crimsons made just one field goal the rest of the way.

Spalding had two dunks as the Shamrocks pulled away, the second one making it 53-42 with 1:46 left.

“If it’s not Spalding then it’s somebody else getting layups because we’re leaving somebody open,” Just said. “Our rotations were slow at times … and we gave up easy buckets because of that.”

For Trinity, it’s on to a third meeting this season with Ballard. The Shamrocks lost 65-54 on Dec. 23 and 63-61 in overtime on Jan. 18, but Szabo is hopeful his team will carry some momentum into Tuesday’s showdown.

“I was really happy with the way that we finished the game,” Szabo said. “Hopefully that will carry over and that will continue Tuesday night.”

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