By Anthony Jones
The end of the regular season continues to move closer for Triad basketball as they wrapped up the Rick McGraw Memorial Invitational hosted by Litchfield high school.
Triad’s first bout of the event came on January 15 against Civic Memorial. The Knights fell 55-50 in overtime during that matchup.
Three days later, the team was back on the court to take on the Nokomis Redskins. Entering at 10-8, the Redskins were hot off of a 50-36 victory over Civic Memorial.
As has happened often this year, the Knights got off to a sluggish start and were in a 21-11 hole after the first 8 minutes of play.
In the second frame, Triad chipped away at their deficit as they outscored their opponent 6-5. A last second shot from Nokomis erased this work however, making their lead 29-17 at the intermission.
The third quarter was a more fortunate affair for the Knights. They slashed Nokomis’s lead nearly in half and trailed 37-30. Their rally continued until the very last second of the game, but fell just short as they lost 48-47.
Freshman Drew Winslow led all Knights in scoring with 16, while McGrady Noyes added 8 more.
Looking to break a five game skid, Triad battled with the host school two days later. Litchfield had attained a 7-9 record prior to their contest.
The first half was full of competitive action. The visitors outscored the Purple Panthers 13-11 in both of the first two quarters, setting them up with a 26-22 lead at intermission.
An offensive flurry of 18 points allowed the Knights to pull away in the third frame, giving them a 44-32 advantage. Triad finished the day up with a 54-40 victory.
Off of 6 baskets from deep, Ayden Hitt was key to the win as he dropped 22 points in the victory. Winslow once again broke into double digits with a dozen of his own.
Back the following day, Triad took on the Father McGivney Griffins in the ninth place game. Triad wasted no time in this one, as they jumped out to a big lead early over the 9-11 Griffins.
At the end of one quarter, the Knights moved ahead 12-6. The second quarter was an even more dominant affair, pushing them to a 26-9 advantage.
Father McGivney pieced together some offense in the latter half, but it was too little too late as Triad left with a 53-32 victory.
Having another hot game from deep, Hitt drained 8-12 three balls to rack up 24 points in the win. Winslow finished with 11 points and Jake Stewart totaled 10 of his own.