[Jacob Motta | WOUB]

Trimble survives scare in one-point victory over Notre Dame

By: ,
Posted on:

< < Back to

WELLSTON, Ohio (WOUB) — The Trimble Tomcats and the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans took the court on Saturday in what was an instant classic. The winner of this game would advance to play for a district title against the winner of the Federal Hocking-Western game.

The contest started off sloppy for the Tomcats, as fouls were not being called and turnovers were being created with bad baseline offense. Notre Dame would take it to Trimble. The Titan’s ball movement was flowing nicely with shots going in often. The crowd was a huge factor towards Notre Dame’s early success as the Tomcat faithful sat in silence. Trimble would be down 14-7 after the first quarter.

The second quarter wasn’t much different from the first, but one thing that became consistent through the rest of this match-up was Trimble being able to draw fouls. Free throws were able to get them closer to Notre Dame, but they would still end up being down 26-22 going into the halftime break.

The offense started to come to life in the second half. Back-to-back and-ones were completed by Guffey, causing the crowd to start getting loud. The defense was very much improved, but two costly mistakes allowed for the Titans to score four easy points within the last 30 seconds of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter started and a huge importance for Trimble was utilizing physicality to keep drawing fouls. They were already in the bonus once the quarter granting them free throws after every Titans foul. This held down Notre Dame, as they were struggling on offense and giving up many free throws to Guffey. On a crucial drive with four minutes left in the game, Blake Guffey would make a corner three pointer to give the Tomcats their first lead of the game.

All the momentum was with Trimble, and it felt like Notre Dame was dead in the water, but they kept themselves in this one with a three pointer from Johnathan Strickland. With the game tied at 43, Trimble found themselves at the free throw line time and time again, giving them a 47-43 lead with under one minute left. A midrange shot would go down by Titans guard Carson Sammons to cut the lead to 2, but Austin Wisor would be fouled. He converts one of two free throws to give his team a 3-point lead. A crucial play would take place as Sammons drives on Bryce Downs, but charging is called forcing a turnover. A late 3 is made, but thanks to a running clock and a late Tomcat free throw made, Trimble did not have to inbound the ball, effectively killing the clock. The Tomcats would escape this contest with a 49-48 victory.

Trimble senior Blake Guffey knew his squad did not play the best in the first half of the game. “We came out and did not play like ourselves. We threw probably 20 turnovers, and we were playing slow the entire time. So, I told the guys we got to pick it up, run, take care of the ball, and in the second half, we did that and came out with more energy and that helped a lot in the win tonight.”

The Tomcats knew they got out of this one by the skin of their teeth, and now their focus lies on their district final match-up with the Western Indians. A classic trilogy with the Lancers won’t happen this year, but that wasn’t on Blake Guffey’s mind. “We still kind of look back to that shot, but whoever wins this game tonight, were going to prepare for them and we’ll play our best game against them.”