Clay Battelle, Joe Smith, Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Joel Robertson scores 25 as Trinity downs Clay-Battelle in season opener

BLACKSVILLE — Trinity Christian senior Joel Robertson stands 6-foot-3 with a vertical jump of 32 inches. It’s the type of size and athleticism that can be difficult to get the ball around.

“He’s very lengthy, and a quick jumper,” Trinity coach John Fowkes said. “He’s been in the weight room, and he’s made his vertical rise six inches over the summer. That’s pretty unheard of for a high school kid.”

Robertson put both his length and skill on display Tuesday night as the Warriors opened their season with a 78-46 win over cross-county rival Clay-Battelle. The standout guard disrupted passing lanes and forced turnovers and often followed up by converting those errors into transition buckets as he paced his team with 25 points.

“He’s a special kid. He’s been my guy since his sophomore year. We hit it off and it’s been that way ever since,” Fowkes said. “He works hard for me and never questions anything I say. He’s not a very vocal guy, but he leads by example.”

Robertson’s performance was mostly impressive in areas that won’t show up in the stat book. Clay-Battelle junior point guard Seth Casino, the top returning scorer from last season, was held to just three points by Robertson.

“We knew going into the game that he’s a heck of a player and he scores the bulk of their points, and we had to do something to contain him,” Robertson said. “Our goal was to not let him score double figures, and I’d say we did a pretty good job of doing that.”

Fowkes knew the Cee-Bees (0-1) needed Casino to have a big game.

“Seth is their best player, and we respect the heck out of him,” he said. “That’s what we talked about in the locker room — taking him out of the game. If he catches fire, he’s pretty good.”

“He had a bad night,” Clay-Battelle coach Josh Kisner said. “They played good pressure defense on him, and we couldn’t get him open as much as we wanted to. We wanted more shots.

“He’s a smart enough player to know when his game isn’t on that night and to get the ball to other players.”

The majority of C-B scoring came from juniors Levi Carrico (21 points) and Coltin Barr (12 points). Both players recorded a double-double in the performance.

Robertson wasn’t quite satisfied with the defensive effort from Triniy (1-0), and said fans can expect more from the team as the season progresses.

“I didn’t think it was as spectacular as it will be a few weeks from now,” he said. “Coach always tells us that if you come out perfect then you’ve got something wrong. We have a lot of things to fix on the defensive end.”

Trinity senior Logo Zervos scored 11 points and Briston Bennett had 10.