Paul Dunbar tops Trinity for Traditional Bank title

Paul Dunbar tops Trinity for Traditional Bank title


Paul Dunbar tops Trinity for Traditional Bank title


LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a boys basketball season desperately seeking a front-runner for the state championship, Paul Dunbar High School staked its claim Wednesday night.

Led by what may be the state’s deepest and most athletic backcourt, the Bulldogs avenged an earlier loss and defeated Trinity 71-60 in the championship game of the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic.

Taveion Hollingsworth scored a game-high 28 points and tournament MVP Darius Williams added 20. Jordan Lewis, plagued by foul trouble in last week’s 81-70 loss to Trinity in the King of the Bluegrass quarterfinals, added five points, five rebounds, two assists and steady defense.

“They have three guys who can go at you off the bounce, and it’s difficult to guard three guys like that,” said Shamrocks coach Mike Szabo, who had tabbed Paul Dunbar as the state’s No. 1 team before last week’s KOB. “With Williams getting hot like he did (18 first-half points), it’s even tougher. If you stay home on one or two of them, then you have no help and you’re on an island defensively.”

Paul Dunbar (13-2), No. 3 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s preseason poll of coaches, shot 53.7 percent (22 of 41) and dominated the boards, 37-17. The Bulldogs outscored the Shamrocks 11-5 in second-chance points.

Szabo has been concerned with his team’s relative lack of size, as 6-foot-2 forwards David Burton and L.J. Harris are his team’s tallest starters.

“It’s the first time it was so obvious,” Szabo said. “If there’s one thing, that was the difference tonight. There were a lot of loose balls on the ground, and it seemed they got them.”

Jacob King hit 5 of 6 3-point tries and scored 21 points to lead No. 10 Trinity (12-2), which continued to shoot well (13 of 23) from behind the arc. Lukas Burkman added 14 points, four assists and three steals before fouling out with 27 seconds remaining.

Williams was on fire from the start, hitting his first eight shots and scoring 18 points as the Bulldogs built a 32-19 lead with 4:09 left in the second quarter. The senior said last week’s lost to Trinity was motivation.

“We didn’t use our heads the first time we played them,” he said. “They had their crowd. We were in the ‘Ville. We had to adjust to that.”

Trinity spent the rest of the game climbing back and finally took its first lead, 59-58, on a Burkman 3-pointer with 2:43 remaining.

But it was all Bulldogs from there. Hollingsworth sank two free throws for a 60-59 lead with 2:34 left, and Harris was called for an offensive foul on Trinity’s next possession.

“That kind of hurt our momentum there,” Szabo said. “But you have to give (Paul Dunbar) a lot of credit. They did a great job of making plays.”

Hollingsworth scored in the lane to give the Bulldogs a 62-59 lead with 1:54 left. After Burkman hit 1 of 2 free throws, Justin Kelly scored for a 64-60 lead.

Trinity’s David Burton missed a 3-point try, and Lewis followed with a 3-point play to make it 67-60 and all but seal the victory with 54.8 seconds left. Paul Dunbar closed the game with a 13-1 run.

Bulldogs coach Scott Chalk said his team made a key defensive adjustment against Trinity after last week’s loss.

“We knew we just pretty much had to play them straight man-to-man because they have too many guys who can shoot it well,” Chalk said. “That was the big adjustment we made, and our guys did a good job responding to it. They really communicated well on defense.”

* Lexington Catholic 56, Bryan Station 41: Trailing 29-23 at halftime, the No. 17 Knights outscored the No. 21 Defenders 33-12 in the second half to take third place.

Luke Johnson posted 17 points and four assists to lead Lexington Catholic (6-6). Rafel Few scored 12 points to lead Bryan Station (7-5), which hit just 3 of 17 shots (17.6 percent) in the second half.

* Henry Clay 75, Cordia 42: Leander Ridgeway scored 14 points to lead the No. 14 Blue Devils (12-2) over the Lions (6-6) in the fifth-place game. Paul Price added 13 points f or Henry Clay, and Isaiah Tisdale pitched in 11 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals.

Oumar Keita paced Cordia with 16 points.

Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and

PAUL DUNBAR                  21           17           16           17 – 71

TRINITY                                16           14           21           9 – 60

Paul Dunbar (13-2) – Lewis 5, Brown 7, Hollingsworth 28, Kelley 9, Clark 2, Williams 20.

Trinity (12-2) – King 21, Burton 8, Schmitt 10, Harris 4, Terry 3, Burkman 14.

3-point goals – Kelley, Williams 2; King 5, Burton 2, Schmitt 2, Terry, Burkman 3.

BRYAN STATION               17           12           9              3 – 41

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC   13           10           17           16 – 56

Bryan Station (7-5) – Few 12, Guy 1, Dunn 11, Murphy 10, DeMarcus 5, Burbage 2.

Lexington Catholic (6-6) – Payne 15, Whitman 1, Morris 11, Ogbogu 6, Johnson 17, Price 6.

3-point goals – Few, Dunn 2, Murphy, DeMarcus; Morris 2, Johnson, Price 2.

HENRY CLAY       20           17           14           24 – 75

CORDIA                                12           17           4              9 – 42

Henry Clay (12-2) – Tisdale 11, Price 13, Ford 3, Ridgeway 14, Mitchell 4, Houston 9, Simpson 10, Jones 5, Green 4, Williams 2.

Cordia (6-6) – Henry 6, Keita 16, Chisolm 2, Nelson 6, Mercado 7, Spurgeon 5.

3-point goals – Tisdale 2, Price 3, Ford, Ridgeway, Simpson 2; Mercado, Spurgeon.


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