Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Trinity falls to Cameron 47-41 in OVAC semifinal

CAMERON – They are back and looking for more gold.

Top-seeded Cameron (10-8) built a big enough lead in the middle two quarters Tuesday night and then held off a late run by No. 4 Trinity Christian (9-9) for a 47-41 victory in an OVAC Class 1A Boys Basketball championship semifinal inside Dragons Indoor Stadium.

With the triumph, the Dragons advanced to Saturday night’s title tilt against second-seeded Madonna, a 62-50 winner over No. 3 Valley in the other semi.. That game will tip at approximately 6 o’clock.

“They hit some big baskets for us,” Cameron head coach Tom Hart said of Cole Burkett and Lance Hartley. “They really did, but I also thought we played really good team defense and got solid minutes off our bench. It was a real team effort.”

Behind the excellent play of Hartley, Cameron extended a 13-12 lead after one quarter to 25-19 at the half. The 6-5 junior netted 10 of the Dragons 12 points in the second quarter, including a pair of treys.

Leading 29-23 with a little more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Warriors converting back-to-back baskets, Hart called a 30-second timeout. Whatever he said to his troops worked as they went on a 12-5 run – sparked by six points each from Hartley and Burkett – to lead 41-28 entering the final panel.

Trinity Christian, which was a cool 2-for-13 from three-point land in the first three quarters, connected on a trio of triples down the stretch. 

Carter Hartsock scored seven of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and when Lucas Kniska tickled the twine from bonus land, it was 44-41 with 7.1 seconds showing.

Cameron’s Colson Wichterman was fouled with 2.7 ticks remaining and made the first shot. The second was off the mark, but Hartley sliced between two Warriors for the offensive rebound and banked the ball off the glass ahead of the final buzzer for the six-point final.

The Dragons were their own worst enemy in the final eight minutes as they went 1-for 4 from the floor, only made half of their eight free throws and charted four turnovers. 

“We were playing so hard … trying to make things happen,” Hart said of the lackluster fourth quarter in which Cameron was outscored 13-6. “Basketball is a game of runs and Trinity made a nice run there, but we were able to hold them off at the end.”

Hartley finished with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds – both game-highs. Hartley chipped in 17 points and half-a-dozen rebounds. Wichterman added six markers and a like number of boards.

Kniska supported Hartsock with nine on three treys, while Chayce Adams added eight. Hartsock also pulled down 11 rebounds.

The win came just over 24 hours after the Dragons lost to Buffalo Putnam in the Par Mar Big House Classic at West Virginia State University in Institute. However, Hart said that game probably helped his team.

“Actually, I think playing Monday might have helped us because we had been off for a week,” he noted. “We were a little rusty but we came to play tonight. The boys were focused and I’m proud of them.”

“It doesn’t matter who we play,” Hart admitted. “We know Valley well. We know Madonna well. They are both good teams that are well-coached. We know we will be in a battle because they are both rivals of ours.”

Trinity Christian head coach Codey Horton had no comment after the contest.

Cameron led 30-24 off the glass and also had one more turnover at 13-12.

BY KIM NORTH – The Intelligencer

Cameron 47, Trinity 41

T   12    7    9   13  –  41

C  13   12   16  6  –  47

TRINITY (41) – L. Kniska 3 0-0 9; Adams 3 1-2 8; Teets 0 1-3 1; Hartsock 9 2-2 21; White 0 0-0 0; Lohmann 0 2-2 2; Hancox 0 0-0 0; Totals: 15-44 6-11 41. CAMERON (47) – Burkett 6 4-7 17; Wichterman 2 2-5 6; Hartley 9 2-3 22; Debolt 0 0-0 0; Winters 1 0-0 2; Marling 0 0-0 0; Angel 0 0-0 0; Scott 0 0-0 0; Totals: 18-41 8-15 47

3-point goals: T – L. Kniska (3), Adams, Hartsock; C – Hartley (2), Burkett