Sweet! Newport Catholic Knocks Off Trinity on Kentucky Basketball's Biggest Stage
After stunning #1-ranked Covington Catholic in the 9th Region finals, the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds took their talents to the biggest stage in Kentucky and beat the (Louisville) Trinity Shamrocks, 48-33, in the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena in Lexington on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m so happy for these guys and the effort they put forth today,” New Cath Head Coach Ron Dawn said after the game. “I know any time we beat Trinity, we beat one of the top programs in the state. They are extremely well-coached, they are a good defensive team, and so I’m proud of our guys for hanging in there.”
The ‘Breds got off to a cold start to begin the game, watching their early first quarter deficit grow to nine points, trailing the Shamrocks 11-2 before the first media timeout in the first quarter. Trinity made four of their first five shots with the only miss coming from a block by New Cath’s Ben Weyer.
“I thought we rushed a couple of our early shots,” Dawn said about the slow start. “I don’t think we were communicating very well defensively. We called the timeout and said we have to do what we do defensively.”
After the media timeout, the ‘Breds took over. A quick basket by Weyer and a three-pointer by Brennan Hall got New Cath to within four after the first quarter, still trailing 11-7.
New Cath inched closer and closer before eventually taking the lead after another three-pointer by Hall.
Trinity did not score a single basket in the second quarter, going 0-for-12 from the field and 0-for 5 behind the three-point line. In contrast, New Cath ended the half on an 18-0 run.
“It surprised me,” Dawn said about holding the Shamrocks scoreless for an entire quarter. “We worked on defense all week, we thought we had their sets down, and our assistant coaches did a good job of scouting and making sure we were prepared. But I had no idea we’d be able to do that.”
Out of the halftime break, both teams got off to a slow start, but Trinity broke the ‘Breds’ run three minutes into the second half on a two-point jump shot from L.J. Harris. Despite the broken streak, New Cath went on another 8-2 run, en route to a 32-18 lead after three quarters.
Trinity stepped up the full-court defense in the final quarter of the game, but New Cath continued to find holes in the defense, running up the score and stopping the Trinity momentum and onto a berth into the next round of the state tournament.
Weyer led all New Cath scorers with 19 points and brought down 13 rebounds in the process. Brennan Hall added 13 points and Luke Moeves had 12 points.
New Cath moves on to face Murray in the second round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 on Friday afternoon at noon at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Murray defeated Buckhorn in the first game on Wednesday afternoon to advance.
Story & photos by Clayton Castle, RCN contributor