Trinity basketball beats St. Xavier 64-56 with big third quarter

Trinity basketball beats St. Xavier 64-56 with big third quarter

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Trinity basketball beats St. Xavier 64-56 with big third quarter

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Trinity scored the first 17 points of the third quarter to break open a close game, then held off a St. Xavier rally for a 64-56 victory over the Tigers on Friday night before an estimated 6,200 high school basketball fans in Freedom Hall.

It seemed the archrivals would go into halftime deadlocked at 29 after St. X’s Robert Shaw hit two free throws to tie it with 5.5 seconds left in the second quarter. However, sub Tyler Boarman stole Trinity’s inbounds pass and hit a bank shot at the buzzer to give the Tigers a 31-29 edge.

If St. X, which entered the game on a nine-game winning streak, thought it had the momentum, it was wrong. The Shamrocks, No. 3 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, scored the first 17 points of the third period to take command.

Trey Ivory, a senior guard who led Trinity with 24 points, ignited the spurt by hitting a 3-point shot, and Daniel Ramser hit another three that made it 40-31. Trinity (11-2) didn’t stop there, building its lead to 46-31 before Josh Rudy scored the Tigers’ first basket of the period with 0:26 left. William Olsen hit a 3-pointer at the horn, but St. X (12-2) still trailed 46-36.

“You can’t give the other team points,” Trinity coach Mike Szabo said. “We gave them 6-8 points in the first half on our foolish mistakes. In the second half we played harder and with more focus. Trey and Ray (center Raymond Spalding) were more aggressive in the second half, and that helped us.”

Spalding, a 6-foot-10 junior, scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Michael Stafford added 12 points as Trinity avenged a 45-42 loss last January after beating the Tigers seven straight times.

“We slacked off in the first and second quarters, and Coach was unhappy and gave us a good old speech,” said Ivory, who hit 7 of 11 shots, including 4 of 7 threes. “We picked up our defense in the second half. This is my senior year, and I told my teammates in the locker room we were not going to lose this game.”

Robert Shaw, a 5-10 senior guard who scored 38 points against DeSales last week, led St. X with 19, hitting 7 of 18 shots and 4 of 7 free throws. Ashanti Burgess added 10 points and Lucas Miller scored nine — all on 3-pointers in the first quarter.

St. X gamely rallied in the fourth period, closing to 52-47 after threes by Shaw and William Olsen, and trailed 56-51 after Burgess hit a three. Both Ivory and Stafford made four foul shots down the stretch to deny the Tigers a comeback victory.

St. X coach Kevin Klein said he was proud of his team for not giving up, but he admitted: “Trinity came out to compete on a very high level in the third quarter. They were challenged the way the first half ended, and we didn’t meet that challenge.

“That play by Boarman was straight hustle. He makes many positive things happen. It was a great feeling to have the lead at halftime, but you can’t beat a top-five team in 16 minutes.”

St. X’s other loss was to No. 2 Covington Catholic 68-46 on Dec. 14.

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