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Warriors fend off Blue Devils' 4th-quarter comeback bid to hang on for win

Jan. 16—MORGANTOWN — A once-comfortable lead turned into a panic situation as the Trinity Christian boys basketball team just held off a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by visiting St. Marys to win 57-52 Monday evening in Sabraton.

The Warriors (7-3), ranked No. 10 in Class AA, led by 10, 45-35 entering the fourth quarter, but the Blue Devils (4-8) used an 11-2 run to make it just a 52-50 TCS lead with less than two minutes to play.

"We wanted everyone to enjoy the game tonight, " Trinity head coach Codey Horton joked. "With a 10-point lead, I feel like we just get too comfortable."

When leading by 11, the Warriors, playing for the first time in 12 days, turned the ball over on four straight possessions, leading to 10 Blue Devil points that cut the lead to 50-49.

It wasn't until Carter Hartsock put back a missed free throw that the Warriors finally scored again and regained some control.

"It was massive, " Horton said. "I was bummed that we missed it, but I trusted Carter to get that rebound and put it up."

From there, Trinity made five of six free throws down the scratch to hang on for the win.

"Offensively we were blessed to make some key shots at the end, but free throws is what won it at the end, " Horton said.

Throughout the first three quarters, Trinity handled St. Marys's full-court press well and was able to defend the Blue Devils' perimeter-oriented offense. St. Marys finished with seven three-pointers, making three in each of the first and third quarters.

"We knew what they were looking for, but they were getting it, " Horton said.

Offensively, Chayce Adams scored 21 of his game-high 25 points through the first three quarters to help the Warriors build their 10-point cushion. Hartsock finished with 18 points off the bench.

Ashton Boron led St. Marys with 20 points, followed by Preston Lawhon with 13.

Trinity enters a difficult four-game stretch over the next two weeks. The Warriors play at Notre Dame on Thursday and host Magnolia on Saturday before taking on Class A No. 1 Tucker County and No. 5 Webster County next week.

"We want to prove we're not just a ninth-ranked team and a team to just squeeze into states, " Horton said. "We're looking to make a run this year."

BOX SCORE Trinity 57, St. Marys 52 StM 16 8 11 17—52 TCS 18 14 13 12—57 St. MARYS (4-8)—Lawhon 5 0-0 13 ; Rice 2 0-0 5 ; Boron 7 4-6 20 ; Pinkerton 2 1-2 6 ; Moran 1 2-2 4 ; Bennett 1 0-0 2 ; Eddy 1 0-0 2 ; Larsen 0 0-0 0.

TRINITY (7-3)—Lohmann 2 0-0 4 ; L. Kniska 1 2-2 5 ; Hopkins 1 0-0 3 ; Adams 10 3-6 25 ; M. Kniska 0 2-2 2 ; Hartsock 7 4-5 18 ; Porta 0 0-0 0 ; Steptoe 0 0-0 0.

3-Pt. Goals—St. Marys 7 (Lawhon 3, Boron 2, Rice 1, Moran 1). Trinity 4 (Adams 2, Hopkins 1, L. Kniska 1).