Turnovers, shooting woes plague Trinity in overtime loss to Greenbrier West

BLACKSVILLE — The inaugural Santa Series Holiday Tournament kicked off on Friday afternoon inside the Statler Wilson Gymnasium at Clay Battelle High School in Blacksville. Game one saw the Class AA Trinity Christian Warriors and the Class A Greenbrier West Cavaliers battle it out in a contest that needed overtime to decide a winner.

Despite the Warriors (4-3) holding an eight-point advantage at halftime, the Cavaliers (2-2) rallied in the second half, surviving a late TCS surge, to advance to tomorrow’s championship game with a 64-63 overtime victory.

A 32-24 halftime lead for TCS vanished in the third quarter as the Cavaliers’ defensive effort allowed just a single point from a free throw in the entire frame, taking a 35-33 lead into the fourth. They outscored the Warriors 40-31 in the final two quarters of regulation and overtime and forced 27 turnovers.

“Carter (Hartsock) had three fouls in the first half and had to sit for most of the third so that hurt us a lot, but ultimately we didn’t take care of the ball and missed shots,” TCS head coach Codey Horton said. “We weren’t playing team ball and that was a big thing. The run we made (9-0 in the fourth to tie the game 45-45) was good but when you pick and choose when you want to go 100% and have 27 turnovers, it’s tough to get the job done.”

With 5:12 remaining in the game, the Warriors trailed 45-36 and had scored just six points in 11 minutes through the second half. But a 9-0 run over the next 2:30 tied the game at 45 with just under three minutes to play.

Despite committing a pair of turnovers in the final few possessions, two free throws by TCS guard Chayce Adams tied the game at 53-53 with 11.4 seconds on the clock to force overtime.

Adams then opened the four-minute extra period with his first triple of the game, giving his team a 56-53 lead. However, GW guard Brayden McClung converted a three-point play to knot the score back at 56.

After traded buckets, the Warriors were bit by the turnover bug once again. The first didn’t yield a positive result for the Cavaliers as their offensive possession came up empty. But after two missed free throws by the Warriors, the Cavaliers used a layup to take a 60-58 lead and forced another turnover. McClung knocked down two free throws to extend the lead to two possessions.

“The biggest thing I saw was when they (Greenbrier West) spaced the floor well on defense, they were able to reach in the passing lanes and get steals,” Horton said. “They pinched the middle of the floor and forced a lot of our turnovers that way and did a good job of that.”

TCS cut the lead to two points with a basket with 14.3 left on the clock but allowed GW to break the press, avoid a foul and score another easy look to ice the game. Adams hit a three at the buzzer that didn’t make a difference in a 64-63 defeat.

The Warriors will play in the third-place game today at noon against Morgantown Christian Academy, while the Cavaliers will square off with tournament host Clay-Battelle in the championship game 30 minutes later.

BOX SCORE
Greenbrier West 64, Trinity 63, OT
TCS 17 15 1 20 10 – 63
GW 10 14 11 18 11 – 64
Greenbrier West – McClung 6 7-9 20 Hagy 3 0-0 7 Agee 5 3-6 14 Dunbar 1 1-4 3 Davis 7 0-0 14 Dixon 2 0-0 4 Ramsey 1 0-0 2.
Trinity – Lohmann 2 0-0 4 Kniska 1 2-2 4 Hopkins 1 2-6 5 Adams 6 7-8 21 Hartsock 9 3-4 21 Steptoe 2 0-2 5 Kniska 1 0-0 2.
3-Pt. goals – Trinity 4 (Adams 2 Hopkins 1 Steptoe 1); Greenbrier West 3 (McClung 1 Hagy 1 Agee 1).