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Trojans overwhelm Knox on senior night

February 28, 2020

T33, K34BOURBON — A game that was tight to start ended up an easy win for Triton as they took a 63-45 HNAC victory over Knox.

The Redskins were just short of dominant in the early going but a second quarter that saw the Trojans grind it out started the momentum in a different direction.
We got in some early foul trouble,” said Knox coach Rob Krueger. “I thought we got off to a great start executed very well. Obviously, we were trying to buy some time to get to that second half to get our full complement of starters out there and we were able to do that and then we couldn’t find the basket. I think we had one field goal in the second and two in the third.”
It was in the second where the tide began to turn for the Trojans as defensively they shut down the Knox attack and were able to battle back to take a lead and head to the locker room with a 20-19 lead.
“The first half I wasn’t too pleased with our kids, they just didn’t handle their pressure very well, their physicality,” said Triton head coach Jason Groves. “So I was kind of frustrated and got on them a little at halftime and they came out with a little more sense of urgency. They were stronger with the ball they were more physical and fundamental defensively.”
Another huge factor in the first half was Knox guard Cade Short going down to a shoulder injury late in the first quarter. The Redskin junior was the offense for Knox in the first quarter and was limited from thereon.
“He was carrying us offensively and he’s one of our better defenders too so you take him out it’s going to hurt and it did,” said Krueger. “That shoulder is a chronic type of thing. Sometimes it happens with contact, sometimes without any contact.”
Out of the break, Triton was a completely different team.
Tyson Yates and Ashton Oviedo split the defense time after time to start the quarter forcing a timeout at the 2:21 mark with a 39-24 lead.
“I was a little frustrated with our guards, in the first half we were impatient and trying to just put our head down and go when it wasn’t there,” said Groves. “If you get ball movement and back cuts it’s going to open up the driving lanes and you are going to be able to get to the basket a little more and they showed a lot more patience in the second half.”
Yates ended with an outstanding night of 23 points and had 19 of those in the second half., Oviedo had 13 for the night.
“In most cases with a team like (Triton) who has shooters and some speed out there on the perimeter they’re going to find something and they did,” said Krueger. “They made a run on us.”
“We had it down to eight there in the second half and I thought the tide was turning for us, and then things started to unravel for us there, but I was really proud of our kids effort,” said Krueger. “I thought we played really hard. I’ve got no complaints about tonight. It just wasn’t our night.”
To say the least as Triton hit on 65 percent of their shots in the second half, 71 percent from the arc while Knox dropped from 46 percent in the first half to just 25 in the second.
“Even with their defensive changes we weren’t finding the bottom of the basket and that’s the name of the game,” said Krueger.
“What a difference that makes when you knock shots down and don’t settle for threes,” said Groves. “We were attacking the basket and when Tyson (Yates) does that, he’s a really good player.”
Triton is now 12-10 with a game against West Central on Tuesday night, in round one sectional action. Knox moves to 12-10 as well and will have a bye in round one of sectional action.
At Triton
Knox 13 20 28 45
Triton 5 19 39 63
Triton (63) — Oviedo 4 2-3 13, Bules 0 0-0 0, McIntyre 0 0-0 0, Gardner 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 0-0 3, Yates 8 7-9 23, Amsden 3 4-4 12, Heckaman 4 0-3 9, Westafer 1 0-0 3. Totals 21 13-19 63
Knox (45) — Wagner 3 6-8 13, Short 5 4-5 15, Watson 1 0-0 2, B. Taulbee 1 0-0 2, Rose 3 3-4 10, A. Taulbee 0 2-2 2, Messer 0 1-2 1 Geller 0 0-2 0. Totals 13 16-23 45.