CLASSIC SHOWDOWN: Trimble County’s Cole Wright (above, 4) talks strategy with teammates Shane Mills (24), Reece Webster (10), Troy Grieshaber (2) and Evan Stevens (partially hidden) while coming out of a Raider timeout in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 69-61 loss to Carroll County in the All“A” Classic Eighth Region Tournament at Owen County. (Staff photos by Mark Campbell)
CLASSIC SHOWDOWN: Trimble County’s Cole Wright (above, 4) talks strategy with teammates Shane Mills (24), Reece Webster (10), Troy Grieshaber (2) and Evan Stevens (partially hidden) while coming out of a Raider timeout in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 69-61 loss to Carroll County in the All“A” Classic Eighth Region Tournament at Owen County. (Staff photos by Mark Campbell)
OWENTON, Ky. — Trimble County boys basketball put up a massive 36 points in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s opening round battle with border rival Carroll County in the All “A” Classic Eighth Region tournament at Owen County High School.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, Carroll already had Trimble buried in a 41-25 hole at the close of the third quarter and the Panthers added another 28 in the fourth — including 12-of-21 at the foul line — to hold off the Raiders 69-61.

“We dug too deep of a hole,” Trimble coach Stacy May said of the loss. “I thought we kind of lost our intensity in the second quarter. I was proud there at the end. We went to what we call the Hack-A-Shack — foul and go back and score and foul again to stop the clock — and it worked. We were down 15 when we started that and we cut it all the way down to eight so I was proud of the kids. They didn’t have any quit in them and they kept fighting to the last buzzer and I was proud of that.”

Panthers head coach Brian Crank saw his team make a similar comeback at the start of the game when Trimble used a zone defense and a deliberate offense to build an early 11-4 lead that forced Crank to use a timeout with just under a minute left in the opening quarter.

“We came out with a lot of energy and hit some shots early in the first quarter but they hit some shots too and we were down 11-4 and I called timeout,” Crank said, noting he didn’t want to wait until the quarter break to redirect his team. “We came out after the timeout and made up the deficit. We bounced back and offensively for four quarters played really well and executed. If we had a negative, I just don’t like the way we finished the game defensively. We fouled way too much and we gave up way too many points in the fourth quarter … but effort, rebounding and offensively, we executed.”

Carroll still trailed 11-6 at the end of the first quarter but the Panthers outscored Trimble 15-4 in the second quarter to lead 21-15 at halftime and had Trimble doubled up 35-17 with 1:56 left in the third before the Raiders’ offense finally got back on track. By then it was too late.

“Our shooting has been a little bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” May said of the Raiders’ struggles. “It kind of comes and goes and we just didn’t shoot a good percentage tonight and it’s a compliment for our boys that we didn’t shoot a good percentage and we only got beat by eight. That’s showing a team effort. If we’d have come out with the intensity in the second quarter that we showed in the fourth quarter I think we’d have been fine.”

Part of the problem for the Raiders — and the solution for the Panthers — was the way Carroll responded to Trimble’s misses. Carroll beat the boards for defensive rebounds to limit the Raiders’ shots and fuel the Panthers’ offense.

“They rebounded the ball very well and, quite frankly I thought their kids were hungrier for the ball as it came off the rim tonight,” May said.

“We’ve talked about (rebounding) all year. We struggle to score when we don’t get stops and get rebounds … when we get defensive rebounds we just score a lot easier,” Crank said. “As you could see tonight, when we do that we get a lot of layups because we were running off the defensive rebounds. That’s a key for us.”

“Obviously, their shot chart was all in the paint and then we don’t shoot the ball well,” May said. “They shoot 63 percent from the field and 76 percent from two-point land. When you shoot that high of a percentage, anybody is hard to beat.”

Once Carroll started hitting and built a comfortable lead, the Panthers could then dictate more of how the game was played. The Raiders could no longer sit back in their zone and be patient and Trimble also had to exercise a greater sense of urgency on offense.

“Once we got a lead we could bring them out to our strength and that’s playing the man-to-man,” Crank said. “Once we got the lead we could force the tempo a little bit … that was the key, to get the lead and bring them out of the zone.”

Thanks to the huge fourth quarter, Trimble ended up with three players in double figures and fourth just a point back. Troy Grieshaber tied for game-high honors with 18, Cole Wright scored 17, Evans Stevens had 11 and Shane Mills added nine.

Carroll County’s mercurial sophomore point guard Wyatt Supplee canceled out Grieshaber’s 18 points to tie for game-high honors while Braedyn Cole and Eli Yocum scored 15 each and David Duncan added 14. Yocum also capped his double-double with 10 rebounds.

“We really struggled to keep Supplee in front of us,” May said. “He’s quick with the ball and when he breaks you down defensively because he beats someone off the dribble that creates a lot of easy shots for them. Once we had to come out of our zone it really hurt us because we couldn’t keep him in front of us.”

A noticeable absence for Carroll was the fact that normal starter Keishaun Mumphrey, who averages 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds, sat on the bench in street clothes. Crank said the freshman was being held out on a “coaches decision” and that Mumphrey would not be eligible for the tournament.

The loss clears up the Raiders’ schedule for the rest of the week and May said Trimble will use the time to rest and begin preparing for the postseason that’s just five weeks away.

“We’re going to get some rest and work on some things,” May said. “I think our season is basically half over right now and we’re going to start preparing every day for the district tournament and try to get better each day.”

Meanwhile, Carroll will focus on its next opponent in the tourney, an 11-2 Walton-Verona team that most consider the Class “A” Regional favorite.

“Walton-Verona is very, very, very good but I told the kids don’t listen to social media, don’t listen to kids in school about how good they are … just look them in the eye and say we’re coming to play and that’s all you can do,” Crank said. “We have to bring an “A” game and maybe they bring a “B” game and we can see a upset. That’s why they play the game.”

The Panthers play the Bearcats at 6 p.m. on Thursday in Owenton. Gallatin County defeated Williamstown 74-46 and Eminence topped host Owen County 70-64 in Tuesday’s other first round games. Gallatin and Eminence will meet in Thursday’s second semifinal with the championship slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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ALL “A” CLASSIC

EIGHTH REGION TOURNAMENT

at Owenton, Ky.

Opening Round

CARROLL CO. 69, TRIMBLE CO. 61



TRIMBLE CO. 11 4 10 36 — 61

CARROLL CO. 6 15 20 28 — 69



TRIMBLE CO. (6-10) — (g)Troy Grieshaber 18, Cole Wright 17, (g)Evan Stevens 11, (f)Shane Mills 9, Aaron Haney 5, Grant Weaver 3, (f)Reece Webster 0, (c) Logan Clifford 0.



CARROLL CO. (6-11) — (g)Wyatt Supplee 18, (g)Braedyn Cole 15, (f)Eli Yocum 15, (f)David Duncan 14, Devin McAlister 6, (f)Bryce Butcher 1.



3-Point Goals — Trimble Co. 3 (Grieshaber 1, Stevens 1, Weaver 1), Carroll Co. 1 (Cole 1). Free Throws — Trimble Co. 16-18, Carroll Co. 20-30. Total Fouls — Trimble Co. 20, Carroll Co. 16. Fouled Out — Trimble Co.: Stevens, Carroll Co.: Cole. Next Game — Trimble Co. visits Gallatin Co. on Jan. 16. Carroll County plays Walton-Verona in the tournament semifinals on Thursday at Owen County.