BOURBON — The semi-final round of the Triton boys basketball sectional is set as Triton made easy work of West Central 82-34 to set up a date with LaCrosse and Argos survived a unique Culver game plan to take a 30-18 win and set up a rematch with Oregon-Davis on Friday night.
Triton 82, West Central 34
In a battle of the Trojans, it was all Triton as they ran away from West Central by a final of 82-34.
From the opening tip, Triton controlled the contest forcing 17 turnovers in the first half alone on the way to a 25-5 first-quarter lead.
A very young West Central squad put up a fight but couldn’t overcome their own mistakes or mount any sort of sustained offensive momentum.
They could not find an answer for Triton’s guard play either as Ashton Oviedo and Tyson Yates had their way with Tyler Heckaman cleaning up the boards. Outstanding ball movement for the Triton offense keyed a big win.
“Tyson Yates and Ashton Oviedo are both sophomores and they are both really coming into their own right now,” said Triton coach Jason Groves. “Our team has a little bit more of an identity. We know who we are offensively, I think we are a little bit more comfortable in our own skin.”
The second half was more of the same for Triton as they stayed in complete control of the contest.
“It’s nice to see our guys come out to a quick start,” said Triton coach Jason Groves. “We told them you guys have to come out ready to go come out and take care of what we’re supposed to do and I think that our kids did that.”
Triton also got 32 points off the bench in the game, getting playing time for that will pay off as the week wears on.
“The last eight or nine games have been nail biters and it was nice to get those guys some playing time so they could come in and feel comfortable and try to do some things,” said Groves. “It was nice to see those guys step up.”
Now the Trojans must take on LaCrosse on Friday night to earn a spot in Saturday’s final.
“You watch LaCrosse on film and they are good,” said Groves. “They are balanced, they have a point guard that is super quick and can get to the basket, they have another guy who can score inside and out, They have another kid shooting 50 percent from the three-point line.”
Triton moves to 13-10 on the season. West Central ends at 0-23.
Argos 30, Culver 18
Knowing a limited possession game was to their advantage Culver coach James Hafley put together a game plan that took the air out of the ball and for the better part of the first half worked well as the Cavs stayed within four.
The Dragons weathered the storm with J.J. Morris hitting some late shots and giving Argos a 13-6 halftime lead.
“We felt like we had to do some things a little different,” said Culver coach James Hafley. “We gave ourselves a chance. Some empty possessions, they got some second-chance opportunities and got us on some baseline out of bounds and that’s what the tournament looks like. Every possession is very valuable. Especially when you play a good team like Argos.”
“It doesn’t surprise me they tried to shorten the game a little bit,” said Argos head coach Gordon Mosson. “It surprises me that they shortened it as much as they did. That was just a good old stall.”
“The kids were playing hard and we had good pressure on the ball,” he said. “We were getting some nice doubles and traps the problem was that we didn’t have the other guys rotating up. Our perimeter guys were working their tails off and our other guys were laying back letting them pass out of it.”
“It was big getting that lead,” said Mosson. “I’m glad we got that seven-point lead at half time. If we hadn’t things could have been a lot different.”
While the Dragon defense made the commitment to play on the defensive end as hard and as long as it took, on the offensive end their patience took over in the second half, limiting quick shots and enabling them to take control early in the third quarter.
“I thought we made a good adjustment but as a coach, you’re always looking for those things you can do better,” said Mosson. “I thought that defensively we always had one guy that didn’t know who he was guarding. We have to be a lot sharper on defense going forward. James (Hafley) had a good plan, you have to give Culver credit.”
Hunter Manns hit a pair of threes for the Cavs to get them back within six down the stretch but seniors Owen Nifong and Sam Manikowski took over at the end to seal the victory. Manikowski ended with a game-high 11 points, Nifong had nine rebounds.
“I thought we did a decent job on those two (Manikowski and Nifong) and limiting the possessions had a lot to do with that,” said Hafley. “We were trying to limit our defensive possessions too. They are really good at controlling the tempo and they come down and get their shots. They are tough on both sides of the ball.”
Argos moves to 14-9 and Culver ends the year at 1-22.
•TRITON 82, WEST CENTRAL 34
At Triton Sectional
Triton 25 43 60 82
W. Central 5 15 23 34
Triton (82) — McIntire 6 1-2 13, McKinney 0 1-2 1, Oviedo 6 2-2 18, Bules 2 0-0 4, Gardner 2 1-1 5, Johnson 1 1-1 4, Yates 2 3-3 8, Amsden 2 2-2 8, Heckaman 3 6-6 12, Westafer 3 3-3 10. Totals 27 20-22 82.
W. Central (34) — White 2 6-8 10, Hiudson 1 1-2 3, Lehman 2 7-7 12, Lewark 1 0-0 3, Shannon 1 1-1 3, Barnett 1 0-0 2, C. Lewark 1 0-0 2. Totals 9 15-18 34.
•ARGOS 30, CULVER 18
At Triton Sectional
Argos 6 13 18 30
Culver 4 6 8 18
Argos (30) — Manikowski 5 1-1 11, J.J. Morris 3 3-3 9, Richard 1 0-0 2, Redinger 1 0-0 2, Nifong 1 2-2 4. Totals 11 6-6 30.
Culver (18) — Valiquet 0 0-0 0, Manns 3 0-0 8, Ziaja 1 0-0 2, King 3 0-1 6, Zehner 1 0-0 2. Totals 6 0-1 18.