Sumter Central eliminates Trinity in AHSAA Central regional final advancing to state tournament

BIRMINGHAM — Sumter Central defeated Trinity 58-47 on Wednesday in the boys Class 3A AHSAA central regional final at Bill Harris Arena. The Jaguars move on to the state tournament and will matchup against Midfield in the Final Four.

After trailing 27-11 at halftime, Trinity outscored Sumter Central 21-9 in the third quarter to cut their deficit to two points. However, Sumter took advantage of the Wildcats turnovers, scoring 18 points off them stretching its lead back to double-digits.

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"We got off to a really slow start offensively," Trinity head coach Matt Arrighi said. "I was so proud of the fight the guys came out with in the second half. It got us right back into the game and we were right there from taking a lead. We played more freely in the second half and that gave us a shot at winning the game."

Trinty's John Morris scored a game-high 26 points, with eight rebounds, two blocks, one assist and a steal. Mac Thomas added 13 points, two assists and and a steal for the Wildcats. For Sumter Central, Jonathan Finch led with 19 points and Emmanuel Clarton finished with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals.

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"We replaced 11 guys from last year's roster," Arrighi said. "Some of these guys came up from junior varsity to play this year, as a coach I knew we would have inconsistencies this season. We felt like we were better than what people thought we would be this year. At the end of the year you want to be playing your best basketball and I believe we did that. What a great year, I'm so proud of these guys. Nobody gave us a shot but us."

Sumter Central will play Midfield at 10:30 a.m. CT. Feb. 27. at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala.

Jerry Humphrey III is a sports writer for the Montgomery Advertiser who covers area high school sports, Auburn recruiting and Alabama State athletics. Follow him on Twitter @jerryhump3.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Sumter Central boys eliminates Trinity in AHSAA Central regional final