The Lady Hawks lost to Lee County Friday evening by a score of 46-38, while the boys staged a late comeback to pull out a 51-45 win.
Girls fade away in the fourth
Triton girls coach Wendy Simmons didn’t have much to say following a disappointing ending to their game against Lee County.
“That was the worst game we’ve ever played on either side of the ball,” she said.
Lee County got off to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter as both sides of Triton’s game indeed struggled. With a few minutes remaining, Zoie Starling and Gracie Byrd both drew fouls and converted both of their free throws while adding a bucket apiece as well. The surge cut the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 17-12 to end the quarter.
Abby Hood took over in the second quarter for Triton with 6 points of her own. Kaila Cooney broke open and nailed Triton’s only three of the night as well. The Hawks trailed 23-22 at halftime.
The Hawks looked pretty sharp throughout the third quarter. All six players that entered the game for Triton scored at some point in the period, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 14-8 as well. They also enjoyed a 6-0 run that eventually led to a 36-31 lead to begin the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, their fourth quarter was inexplicably uneventful. Triton’s only points of the period came from two Cooney free throws. They were outscored by 13 points as their opponents had their way on both sides of the ball to close out the game. For Lee County, it was just their second win of the season.
Abby Hood led Triton with 11 points. Cooney, Starling, and Byrd all had 7. Anastasia McDonald and Tristan Ennis both added 3.
Triton’s girls drop to 5-6 overall and 0-1 in Tri-County Conference play. They’ll be back in action Wednesday at West Johnston (6-8).
A classic for the boys
The boys trailed by 10 at one point in the fourth quarter with time winding down. The scoreboard read 4:05 with seemingly a mountain to climb to get back in the game. It felt as if they may not have enough gas left to finish the job. Enter Travion Sanders.
After being down 11-7 to end the first quarter, Dalen Thompson got the boys back in the game in the second. He hit two threes and added another bucket for a quick 8 points. But Lee County answered every basket with one of their own. Jamari Amerson put Triton ahead for the first time at 20-18 with a 3. The Hawks eventually closed out the half with a 1-point lead at 23-22.
Lee County opened up the third on a 6-0 run while the Hawks scored just 6 points over the entirety of the quarter. Triton was outscored 13-6 as the Jackets took a 35-29 lead into the final 8 minutes of play.
Following a rough start to the fourth quarter, the Hawks found themselves down 41-35 with 4:05 remaining in the game. At this point, something inside of Triton senior Travion Sanders switched over into attack mode. Of the 16 total points that the Hawks scored over this final stretch, Sanders notched 13 by scoring on fast breaks and taking advantage of his free throw opportunities, converting 7 of 9 from the line. Triton allowed just 4 points the entire fourth quarter.
Once Ladrabious Eason laid in the bucket that took the lead with just under a minute remaining, the home crowd went absolutely insane, especially the student section. The roars only intensified when Sanders was fouled once again and converted both of his free throws. As the final horn sounded, the students rushed the court to congratulate the players on their thrilling 51-45 victory.
“I love the fight,” Triton head coach T.J. Morrison reflected. “We’ve been looking for some of that throughout the season and I’m glad the guys stayed in the game. They made a couple of nice runs there in the fourth quarter, defended well, and made some plays. I’m happy for them. We made progress tonight.”
Sanders led Triton with 17 points. Thompson added 10. Eason finished with 6. Amerson and Myshon Smith both posted 5. Luke West had 3. Keionta Burnett and Nate McKoy added 2. Jalen Evans added 1.
Triton’s boys improve to 7-6 overall and 1-0 in Tri-County Conference play. Next, they travel to face West Johnston (5-9) on Wednesday.
“I hope this snowballs,” Morrison said. “We won a tough one on Tuesday, a tough one tonight, and I hope we win some more tough ones to build on it. We just need to keep defending well and executing on offense.”