UHA ends Trigg's season in the region semifinals
by Scott Brown, Sports Editor Email Scott
Mar 14, 2005 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eight years ago, Trigg County ended University Heights’ season on Hopkinsville’s Tiger Gym floor with a four point win in the region semifinals.

The roles were reversed last week as the Blazers fended off a furious Wildcat rally and ended their season with an 81-76 win Friday in the semifinals of the Second Region Tournament in Hopkinsville.

UHA advanced to the finals where they beat Henderson County 62-59 on a last-second shot by Joshua Mack.

Mack was the same player that put Trigg County in a hole in their game the previous night.

The junior guard was the object of the Trigg County student body, which taunted him with chants in both the pregame warm-ups and the first half.

Mack silenced them by scoring 18 of his 21 points in the first 16 minutes, hitting 8-of-11 shots and scoring 11 of UHA’s 16 first quarter points.

As was the case in their first meeting this season in the All-A Classic region semifinals, it was a stagnant second quarter that did in the Wildcats.

Trigg was outscored 22-12 in the second quarter of that 91-80 loss Jan. 28 in Eddyville.

Last week, UHA outscored the Wildcats 25-10 in the second frame that helped build a 41-27 lead at intermission.

Two different runs of 8-0 and 12-3 helped the Blazers push their lead to double-digits midway through the quarter.

UHA put together a solid quarter, while the Wildcats endured a nightmare.

Trigg missed 17 of their 20 shot attempts in the quarter and were outrebounded 18-9 by the Blazers.

UHA had eight rebounds on the offensive glass that led to seven second chance points, while shooting 44-percent from the field.

The Blazers pushed the lead to 62-44 with 1:02 left in the third quarter.

That’s when Trigg County woke up.

Rodney Davis and Jeremy Jones nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to end the quarter and cut the deficit to 62-50 heading into the fourth quarter.

Mack opened the quarter with a 3-pointer – his only points of the second half – and Carson Rager completed a 3-point play to push the lead back to 16 points at 68-52.

The Wildcats countered with an 18-4 run, hitting 6-of-11 shots and 5-of-6 free throws, while UHA misfired on seven straight shots.

The Blazers went nearly five minutes without a field goal as Trigg County steadily chipped into the lead.

Jones hit a jumper wit 4:27 left that cut the lead to single digits at 72-63.

Devin Tejada, only a 44-percent free throw shooter on the season, hit a pair of tosses to make the score 72-65. with 4:03 left.

Jamaal Boyd hit a short shot, and Jones hit a 3-pointer from out top to bring Trigg to within two points at 72-70 with 2:59 left.

Trigg had a chance to tie the game but missed a close shot. UHA rebounded and fed Chris Evans on a breakaway. He was fouled and hit both shots to push the lead to four.

UHA used the run out to consistently burn the Wildcats, scoring 45-percent of their points in transition and hitting 9-of-10 layups.

"We didn’t do a good job of getting back, especially our guards. We knew they would try and run, but we didn’t guard it well," Chumbler said.

Trigg had a chance to cut into the four-point lead by UHA by missed their next three shots, appearing to rush them.

Evans put back a missed shot to extend the UHA lead to 76-70 with 1:30 left.

Jones hit a pair of free throws with 1:20 to cut the lead to 76-72 and had a chance to cut into the lead further when Steven Wadlington stole an errant Blazer pass.

However, Trigg missed a 3-point shot, and UHA scored on a run-out when Rager grabbed the rebound and fed Cody Stallons for a layup with 1:08 left.

A Boyd bucket cut the lead to 78-74 with 52 seconds left, and Trigg missed another 3-pointer on their subsequent possession, which led to another Stallons breakaway layup and sealed the win for the Eighth District champs.

"We should have kept getting Jamaal the ball inside and milked him more, because it was working. We rushed some shots late, but you can’t fault their effort," Chumbler said.

Jones led Trigg County with 29 points and 13 rebounds, while Davis added 22 points. The pair combined to shoot 16-of-51 from the field.

Boyd added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, who shot just 34-percent from the field.

Chris Evans had 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who shot 44-percent from the field and outrebounded Trigg 47-45.

Trigg County has dropped five straight games to the Blazers dating back to the 1997 semifinals, and lost nine of 14 games overall in the series.

Jones and Boyd were named to the All-Second Region Tournament Team as voted on by the coaches.
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