Coming in to Friday night’s game in Salina, Sacred Heart boys’ coach Pat Martin knew his team was in for a battle.
The Knights’ opponent was Hutchinson-Trinity, a team above .500 and one of the tallest teams in the state of Kansas with not just one player above 6-foot-8, but two. And after trailing in the first period 19-12, it looked like the Knights were in for a battle.
However, Sacred Heart would outscore Hutch-Trinity 39-11 over the coarse of the second and third quarters to completely dominate the Celtics in a 69-50 victory and give the Knights their 10th win on the year.
Sacred Heart would struggle defensively against the bigger Celtics in the first period and the Knights would struggle to score the ball from the outside. Their shooting struggles would continue in to the second period, however, Sacred Heart stepped up their game on the defensive end by creating points via turnovers to get back in the game.
In the first half, Sacred Heart would only make one 3-point, however, that led to a slim 28-25 lead at the break.
Sacred Heart would play arguably their best quarter to date in the third stanza. The Knights would move the ball around well and get better open looks for Charlie Skidmore and Caleb Jordan who would deliver on six 3-point makes in the second half. Sacred Heart would also receive another solid outing from post-player Cole Elmore who was successful on both ends of the floor.
After the Skidmore and Jordan barrage of 3-pointers, Sacred Heart led 51-30 at the end of the third.
Hutch-Trinity would score some points in mop-up time to put up a respectable 50 points on the night, but that did not indicate how well Sacred Heart played on defense. Both Celtic bigs were held to well below their season averages at under double-figures.
Hutch-Trinity (8-6, 2-4 HOA) struggled to find scoring on the interior in the final three quarters. The Celtics had just one scorer in double-figures in Kaleb Hammeke’s 10 points.
Sacred Heart (10-3, 6-0 NCAA) has won four-straight, all by double-digits. The Knights had three scorers in double-figures including, Skidmore with 19, C. Jordan with 18 and Cole Elmore had 10 points. Trace Leners would just miss double-figures with nine points.
The Salina Ortho “Player of the Game” was Skidmore. The Knights’ junior led the way with four 3-point makes, especially heating up in the third quarter. Sacred Heart hosts rival Southeast of Saline next Tuesday at home.
Hutchinson-Trinity 59, SACRED HEART 31
The Sacred Heart girls’ basketball team struggled to score the ball against a young, but talented Trinity team. It’s the third game in-a-row that the Knights were held to below 40 points.
Turnovers were key against Sacred Heart on Friday. Sacred Heart would turn the ball over 10 times in the first quarter alone on their way to trailing 15-6.
Hutch-Trinity would dominate the second period outscoring the Knights 21-8 to take a 36-14 halftime lead.
Hutch-Trinity (7-7, 3-1 HOA) would turnover Sacred Heart well over 20 times on the night on their way to a dominating win. The Celtics were led by Elizabeth Zrubek’s 23 points and Olivia Shank’s 18.
Sacred Heart (3-10, 2-4 NCAA) was at least able to get forward, Anna Ivey going again as the Knights’ big would bounce back from a scoreless outing on Tuesday with 11 points on Friday against Hutch-Trinity. Ivey was named as Sacred Heart’s Salina Ortho “Player of the Game.”
Up next for the Knights, they host their arch-rivals, Southeast of Saline on Tuesday night. Game times are 6/7:30 p.m. on FM 104.9.