The Wildcats ended the game on an 11-0 run as the Storm missed four of their last five shots and had five turnovers in the final three minutes of the game.
"We didn’t play that well in the first half. We just stood around a lot, but we picked it up in the fourth quarter," Wildcat head coach Bill Chumbler said.
The Wildcats trailed 50-39 with 2:42 left, but Jeremy Jones hit a bucket, and Jamaal Boyd added five straight points to pull Trigg to within 53-46 heading into the fourth quarter.
Trigg County was able to mount their run when Hopkins Central moved their 6-10 center, Albert Jackson, to the top of their 3-2 zone midway through the third quarter.
Jackson, a junior, scored 18 of his team-high 23 points in the first three quarters, but was ineffective in the fourth quarter.
Among those at the game to watch Jackson play was University of Georgia coach Dennis Felton, who sat behind the Storm bench during the game.
With Jackson taken out of the defensive equation, the Wildcats scored 17 of the next 20 points in the game.
"That was big when they moved Jackson out of the lane because it opened up the middle for Jamaal," Chumbler said.
Boyd scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, scoring ten in both the third and fourth quarters.
Assistant Coach Toby Miles was at the helm for the Storm, replacing head coach Shawn Oakley was ejected in the final minute of Hopkins Central’s loss to Providence the previous week and had to sit out the game due to KHSAA rules.
The Wildcats opened the fourth quarter with ten straight points to take a 56-53 lead with 4:46 left.
Jones and Boyd combined to score all ten points. Jones’ 3-pointer from straight away gave Trigg their first lead of the game at 54-53 since the first quarter.
The Storm went nearly five minutes without a field goal until T.J. Martin canned a jumper with 4:35 left in the game.
Hopkins Central took a 58-56 lead on a Josh Vannoy 3-pointer from the right corner with 4:07 left and Jackson followed with a bucket to push the Storm lead to 60-56.
The Storm extended the lead to 64-59 on a free throw by Martin with 2:00 left.
But Hopkins Central couldn’t take care of the basketball in the game’s final minutes, and the Wildcats made them pay.
Devin Tejada fed Boyd for a bucket to cut the lead to 64-61 with 1:49 left.
The Storm then turned the ball over on their next three possessions that led to a bucket by Steven Wadlington, a layup by Jones, and a free throw by Jones that gave Trigg a 66-64 lead with 49 ticks left.
After the Storm missed the front end of a bonus, Jones was fouled with 21 seconds left.
He made the first free throw and missed the second. Boyd swooped in a put back the miss to put Trigg ahead 69-64 and seal the win.
"Jamaal didn’t do a lot in the first half, but he was big down the stretch for us and hit some big shots," Chumbler said.
Boyd finished 10-of-16 from the field, including 8-of-9 in the second half.
Jones added 18 points and nearly pulled of a quadruple-double, grabbing 11 rebounds to go with eight assists and eight blocked shots.
The Wildcats also got a boost off the bench from senior Steven Wadlington, who scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
Despite the presence of the 6-foot-10 Jackson in the middle, Trigg County blocked 13 shots, compared t five for the Storm.
The Wildcats shot 45-percent from the field, helped by a 14-of-24 (58-percent) performance in the second half.
However, neither team put on a clinic at the charity stripe, with Trigg hitting 12-of-22 (54-percent) and Hopkins Central hitting only 9-of-19 (47-percent).
Hopkins Central held a slight advantage on the glass, 36-33, but Trigg made their work on the offensive glass stand out, outscoring the Storm 18-8 in second chance points.
The first round win was Trigg’s second in three years at the region tourney and came in their first post-season clash with the Storm, who finished the season with a 13-18 record.