The Trinity High School basketball team took care of the ball and took care of Fern Creek in a highly anticipated rematch Sunday night.
David Johnson posted game-highs with 19 points and nine rebounds and L.J. Harris and Jayden Scrubb both added 15 points as the Shamrocks beat the Tigers 66-63 in a quarterfinal of the Forcht Bank King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic at Fairdale.
Fern Creek had defeated Trinity 65-61 on Dec. 10, and Shamrocks coach Mike Szabo said his team’s nine second-half turnovers were the difference in that defeat. Trinity had six turnovers in the first quarter Sunday but committed just two the rest of the night.
Harris said the Shamrocks’ on-ball defense also was better Sunday than it was a week ago.
“That really killed us,” Harris said. “Fern Creek is an amazing team with a lot of potential … and we had to keep them out of the paint this game. We did a pretty good job, but it could have been better.”
Trinity (6-1) – No. 2 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s preseason poll of coaches – advanced to face Covington Catholic in Monday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal.
Anthony Wales and Clint Wickliffe both scored 16 points and Chance Moore added 13 points for No. 8 Fern Creek (7-1). Coach James Schooler lamented his team’s subpar performance from the free-throw line in the second half – 6 for 13.
“I think it was a lack of concentration at the line, and then you start second-guessing,” Schooler said. “You have to learn from that.”
The game featured 13 lead changes and nine ties, the last coming on a Wickliffe 3-pointer that made it 40-40 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
Harris followed with a 3-point play and a 3-pointer to push Trinity’s lead to 46-40 with 42 seconds left in the third. Harris scored all 15 of his points in the second half.
“He had a great night and got us fired up and got the energy going,” Szabo said. “I’m so excited to see that. I want him to build on that because this was a great performance for L.J. Harris tonight.”
Fern Creek pulled within two points on four occasions in the fourth quarter and a Wickliffe 3-pointer made it 64-63 with 21 seconds left.
Lukas Burkman made a pair of free throws for a 66-63 advantage with 9 seconds left, and Wales missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end it.
Fern Creek dropped into the consolation bracket and will face Franklin-Simpson at 6 p.m. Monday.
“We don’t like to lose, but if we lose it needs to be a dog fight and we should go out with our heads up,” Schooler said. “We can do that tonight. We’re going to grow and learn from this.”
Bowling Green 69, Ballard 67: After trailing by 16 points early in the second quarter, the No. 1 Purples (7-0) clawed back and pulled out a victory over the No. 6 Bruins (4-1).
Eighth-grader Zion Harmon had a 3-point play that gave Bowling Green the lead for good, 65-64, with 1:02 remaining.
After Terry Taylor hit 1 of 2 free throws to give the Purples a 69-67 edge with 12.5 seconds left, Ballard had a final chance to win. After a loose-ball scramble in the paint, Marshon Ford had a short shot to tie but missed.
Jamil Wilson scored 23 points and Clivonte Patterson added 22 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals for the Bruins, who shot just 24.1 percent (7 of 29) in the second half.
Bruins coach Chris Renner attributed the poor shooting to fatigue and a lack of execution against Bowling Green’s zone defense.
“Going to a zone, that’s what teams are going to do to slow us down,” Renner said. “If you can handle our pressure and slow it down, that what they want to do.”
Harmon hit 11 of 12 free throws and scored 19 points to lead the Purples. Taylor (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Kyran Jones (10 points, 10 rebounds) both posted double-doubles and Deangelo Wilson added 12 points for the Purples, who will face Berkmar of Lilburn, Ga. in Monday’s 9 p.m. semifinal.
“This is the first time this year we’ve been in a hole and had to dig out,” Purples coach D.G. Sherrill said. “And the character we showed digging out against a quality opponent like Ballard taught us a lot about our guys.”
Covington Catholic 79, Franklin-Simpson 71: C.J. Fredrick scored 30 points and Cole VonHandorf added 23 points and four assists to lead the No. 5 Colonels (7-1) over the No. 22 Wildcats (7-1).
Tavin Lovan led Franklin-Simpson with 34 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Lovan’s 3-pointer capped a 15-0 run that pulled the Wildcats within 57-55 with 40 seconds left in the third quarter. But the Colonels responded with a 13-4 spurt, capped by a Fredrick 3-pointer that made it 70-59 with 5:31 remaining.
Doss 48, Paul Dunbar 45: The No. 11 Dragons (4-3) built a 29-20 halftime lead and hung on to beat the No. 3 Bulldogs (5-3) in a rematch of last season’s state championship game won by Paul Dunbar 61-52.
Jaylon Hall scored 15 points and Stephon Franklin added 13 to lead Doss. Western Kentucky University signee Taveion Hollingsworth paced Paul Dunbar with 22 points.
Christian County 77, Cooper 61: Deterrion Ware scored a game-high 30 points, hitting 10 of 12 free throws, to lead the No. 7 Colonels (7-1) over the No. 14 Jaguars (4-3). Bellarmine University signee Sean McNeil paced Cooper with 19 points.
North Hardin 83, Fairdale 64: Roger McFarlane scored 26 points and Gavin Root added 23 to lead the No. 10 Trojans (5-3) over the Bulldogs (4-4). Glenn Queen paced Fairdale with 22 points.
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.
TRINITY 12 17 17 20 – 66
FERN CREEK 10 18 13 22 – 63
TRINITY (6-1) – David Burton 3p; David Johnson 19p, 9r; L.J. Harris 15p; Justin Powell 6p; Jayden Scrubb 15p, 7r; Lukas Burkman 8p.
FERN CREEK (7-1) – Anthony Wales 16p; Ahmad Price 6p; Daiquan Jones 4p; Clint Wickliffe 16p, 6r; Kyree Hawkins 2p; Chance Moore 13p; Tony Rogers 6p, 6r.
BALLARD 23 18 15 11 – 67
BOWLING GREEN 18 14 18 19 – 69
BALLARD (4-1) – Kereion Douglas 1p; Tyron Duncan 5p; Dorion Tisby 4p; Antoine Darby 3p, 4a, 3s; Delonta Wimberly 6p; Jamil Wilson 23p; Clivonte Patterson 22p, 11r, 4a, 4b, 3s; Orlando Higginbottom 3p.
BOWLING GREEN (7-0) – Deangelo Wilson 12p; Zion Harmon 19p; Jay Buser 3p; Jarius Key 6p; Kyran Jones 10p, 10r; Trey Jones 4p; Terry Taylor 15p, 13r, 3s.
COVINGTON CATHOLIC 22 24 14 19 – 79
FRANKLIN-SIMPSON 20 14 21 16 – 71
COVINGTON CATHOLIC (7-1) – C.J. Fredrick 30p; Cole VonHandorf 23p, 4a; Luke Lenihan 2p, 4a; A.J. Mayer 10p; Casey Nowak 2p; Jake Walter 12p, 10r, 3b.
FRANKLIN-SIMPSON (7-1) – Trey Radcliffe 12p; Tavin Lovan 34p, 7r, 4a, 3s; Ollie Eutsey 1p; Dee Ragland 3p; Dakota Thomas 5p; Carless Doaks 14p; Jordan Bass 2p.
SUNDAY’S CONSOLATION-BRACKET GAMES
PAUL DUNBAR 7 13 19 6 – 45
DOSS 14 15 11 8 – 48
PAUL DUNBAR (5-3) – Javea Richardson 8p; JaQuice Gray 4p; Taveion Hollingsworth 22p; Jared Gadd 1p; Star Ifeacho 4p; Isaiah Yeast 2p; Michael Corio 1p; Will Hairston 3p.
DOSS (4-3) – Stephon Franklin 13p; Jaylon Hall 15p; Terez Traynor 7p; Shawn’Kel Knight-Goff 2p; DaRon Washington 4p; Cameron Maddox 7p.
CHRISTIAN COUNTY 13 19 13 32 – 77
COOPER 15 17 8 21 – 61
CHRISTIAN COUNTY (7-1) – T’Aivey Mason 19p; Jalen Sebree 13p; JaQuon Long 5p; Deterrion Ware 30p; Darius Daniel 10p.
COOPER (4-3) – Chris McNeil 6p; Adam Kunkel 11p; Dante Hendrix 4p; Noah Shidler 2p; Sean McNeil 19p; Tyler Ollier 2p; Braydon Runion 15p; Daniel Wasser 2p.
FAIRDALE 10 19 16 19 – 64
NORTH HARDIN 20 22 20 21 – 83
FAIRDALE (4-4) – Glenn Queen 22p; Markelo Sullivan 14p; Seth Dewboys 1p; Trez Allen 2p; Craig Ash 13p; Jax Gaddie 3p; Ike Roby 5p; Stephen Moore 2p; Mark Sullivan 2p.
NORTH HARDIN (5-3) – Roger McFarlane 26p; Gavin Root 23p; Trey Peterson 4p; James Pitre 14p; Tony Jackson 15p; Devin Terry-Taylor 1p.
LATE SATURDAY GAMES
BERKMAR 21 15 14 15 – 65
ALLATOONA 12 16 12 5 – 45
BERKMAR (8-3) – Al Durham 13p, 8r; Zach Cooks 18p, 5a, 4s; Greg Philson 2p; Jay Estime 21p; KaShaun Swan 2p; Uba Ezigbo 2p; Ben Suomahoro 7p, 7r.
ALLATOONA (6-4) – Mike Johnson 13p; Chima Ogboi 2p, 7r; T.J. Goodrum 3p; Trey Doomes 24p, 9r, 3a; Tyler Jackson 3p.
ST. RITA 14 21 18 22 – 75
LEE 14 12 15 25 – 66
ST. RITA (5-2) – Joel Watts 2p; Jordan Matthews 12p; Stedmon Ihejirika 5p; Cameron Bartmann 4p; Rashaad Williams 10p; Phillip McGuire 4p; Paul Kingsley 24p; Landen Gladney 14p.
LEE (8-6) – Marquitz Tyner 2p; Brandon Powell 3p; Mason Ellison 5p; Malik Burnett 27p; Kobe Brown 19p; Tyreese Smith 6p; Deamonte Douglas 4p.