Edmonson County Defense Leads The Way In 71-59 Win
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The Trinity Raiders' season came to an end tonight in a 71-59 loss to the Wildcats, as the Edmonson County defense caused nearly 20 turnovers for the Raiders.
Trinity, who had earned the number seed in the tournament, had trouble all night against the four-seeded Wildcats who continually clogged up passing lanes, double-teamed, and all but took away the Raider three point shot.
Trinity's zone defense kept the Wildcats pushed out of the paint early and Edmonson was forced to shoot more three pointers than usual. After a cold start, seniors Logan Minton and Ryan Lindsey began connecting from behind the arc and turned an 8-6 deficit into a 27-18 lead at the half.
"I thought our defense was key tonight," said Assistant Coach Bart Weaver. "I was really proud how the guys responded defensively and we knew that was going to be important tonight."
The Wildcats were able to turn the Trinity turnovers into points as they shifted defenses on the Raiders throughout the game.
Edmonson County defeated Trinity twice during the regular season and Weaver said he knew the Raiders would be hungry for a win, especially at home in a district tournament.
"We've studied these two (previous) wins," he said. "We changed up defenses on them and we did the same thing tonight. We used about four defenses and we tried to keep them off guard all night long. Our kids just played so hard and they bought in defensively tonight--which they have all year--but just really played well defensively."
Four Wildcats landed in double figures tonight as Logan Lindsey led the way offensively with 19 points, Tucker Cole added 13, Logan Minton scored 11, and Ryan Lindsey scored 10.
Also scoring was Brayden Carey, who added 6, Dalton Decker added 5, and Mason Pierce scored 4 points.
After Edmonson took a 10-8 lead early in the second quarter, they never trailed again. They led as much as 15 but kept it around 10-12 points. Trinity began to foul with about three minutes to go and try their luck at the Wildcats foul shooting. At one point, the lead was cut to 9 as the Wildcats struggled from the free throw line, connecting on only 31 out of 54 attempts for 57%.
Edmonson County advances to the District 12 Championship game for the third time in four years, which is scheduled for Friday, February 23 at 6pm. The defending champions have an opportunity to repeat at champs for the first time since the 1974 and 1975 teams. Oddly enough, the famed 1976 State Championship team lost in the district finals but were able to move on to region champs and eventually the entire sweet sixteen.
"It's an awesome feeling to be back here," said Weaver. "It really doesn't matter whether we play Grayson or Butler, they've both beat us and it's going to be tough either way, but if we can execute our plan I really like our chances in this thing. We've said for weeks that the number four seed could win the championship the same as the number one seed and it just happens that we're the number four."
Grayson County defeated Butler County later in the evening 47-43, and will face the Wildcats on Friday.