By Anthony Jones
Ladue, Troy and Pickenyville all saw Triad boys basketball in action this past week. Their contest in Ladue came first on Jan. 24, as the Knights battled the hosts Rams.
An even first third quarters of play between two of the area’s best saw Triad lead 34-29, but the drama was far from over.
Ladue took their first lead of the game with just over five minutes to play, going ahead 37-36. As the teams continued to trade shots, the Knights emerged from the dust up with a 50-46 victory.
Underclassmen Tyler Thompson and Drew Winslow tied for a team-high 13 points in the win.
Three days later, the team returned to their home court for a Mississippi Valley bout with the Civic Memorial Eagles.
A 9-0 start for the Knights set the tone early for what would be a long night of Triad being in control. The last point of the opening frame cut the visitors’ deficit down to 9-1.
Triad led 17-2 early in the second quarter and ultimately led 29-10 at the half.
The most noteworthy stat of the first half was Civic Memorial’s field goal percentage: zero percent.
Coach Jeff Guidry talked about his team’s strong defensive start, “The defensive side of things is good. We came out and played physically like we had been for the last couple weeks. Officiating set the tone early that they weren’t allowing too physical and I think we adjusted in the second half for that.”
A 25-9 third quarter added to a huge lead for Triad that they would not be challenged for on their way to a 65-31 victory.
Aydin Hitt led the victors in scoring with 15. McGrady Noyes added on 12 more and Thompson also hit double digits at 11.
A key aspect of the Knights’ win was their willingness to challenge seven foot tall Sam Buckley around the rim.
“Going back to last week, we didn’t finish at the rim very well and a lot of that is because in the back of their minds they when think the seven foot guy is there, so we challenged the guys today. McGrady went up and finished a few times over him,” Guidry said of going against their vertically gifted opponent.
Triad’s ten game win streak was put on the line the following evening for a battle with the Centralia Orphans at the Pinckneyville Classic.
The Knights led most of the game in a tight affair, but the fourth quarter saw the Orphans pull away for a 51-39 win. Triad dropped to 20-6 with the loss.