By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Any elementary student can tell you multiplying the same number by three vs. two will give you a larger outcome in the No. 3 table.
The Trinity Christian Academy Lions were exercising this lesson Friday night in the TRA Gymnasium. The Lions led by players like Will Keltner, Levi Cottrell and Sam Wysor were so hot from the perimeter, TCA held a 28-24 lead at the break.
“We looked at the stats from the first half,” Tipton-Rosemark Academy Head Coach Cedric Anderson said. “They made two shots from the inside. I think they were 2 of 9. So we decided to extended our defense out and force them to come off the line.
“We wanted to force them to make plays inside and be athletic,” he continued. “Then we would contest those layups inside. We made them settle for 5-foot shots. Then we went inside offensively.”
The TRA Rebels missed shots of the first half transformed into made baskets led by the hot shooting of Ethan Petrowski helping TRA prevail 79-58.
The Rebels came out solid jumping ahead 7-0. Then a pair of Keltner threes foreshadowed the first half.
Whenever TRA build a lead, a Lion would step outside and drain a triple. The Rebels full court pressure defense led to TCA beating the press and looking for outside shots. That strategy worked for the first 16 minutes sending TRA into the locker room trailing.
“After we had our halftime conversation, we had to get the guys to believe in what they could accomplish as a team,” Anderson said. “They started doing that. On our side our best players stepped up and led in the second half. Cameron Donegan and Alex Anderson led the way. Then Ethan Petrowski and Ethan Stewart fed off of that.
Donegan handled the point guard duties getting TRA into the flow of the offense. The Rebels bought pressure on the Lion ball handlers just past the half court line and forced them to pass the ball toward the key.
Rebel big men like Stewart, Jay Heigel and Myles McClinton contested shots or passes leading to steals.
Before the night concluded, Alex Anderson had a slam dunk. Then before the closing moments, Stewart drove baseline and threw down a one-hand jam.
The win helped TRA improve to 12-10 overall and 8-3 in Division II-A West Region play.