Trico tops Sparta
Lodge, Cleland lead Pioneers to win, 51-39; Steeleville holds off Galatia
On Wednesday night at the Trico Invitational Tournament the host Pioneers jumped out to an energetic early lead with a near flawless first quarter and survived a near meltdown in the last three frames to secure a 51-39 triumph over rival Sparta to improve to 2-0 in the event and also the young season.

Six-foot-three sophomore Wilson Lodge was a beast on the inside, when he wasn't on the bench with foul trouble.

The power forward “powered his way for a double-double on the night with 16-points and 11-rebounds, despite sitting out a most of the second quarter after picking up his second personal.

Logan Cleland, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, also added 16 points for Trico and he came up big late in the game with a pair of offensive rebounds off of missed free throw attempts, which helped seal the victory.

Head coach Dan King also got seven points from 5-foot-9 senior guard Seth Levan.

The Pioneer managed the victory even though they were a miserable 7-of-21 from the foul line.

“As a sophomore he can do a lot of good things on the court for us,” said Coach King about Lodge. “Cleland gave us those two big offensive rebounds. But hitting just 7-of-21 free throws is unacceptable.”

Coach Jon Norton and his Sparta club, coming off of a win over Steeleville on Monday night, fell to 1-1 in the tournament and 1-2 overall.

Carlos Keen, a 6-foot senior guard, led all scorers with 17 points for the Bulldogs.

Jaden Ethington, a 5-foot-11 junior, added eight points for Sparta, including a couple of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as his team rallied to within nine points on two occasions.

But the real difference in the contest was the glass as the hosts out rebounded the Bulldogs 37-19 behind Lodge, who grabbed six of his boards in the first quarter.

Trico built an early advantage with Lodge and Cleland providing early spark.

Lodge opened the game with a score in the paint and Cleland followed with a pair of scores.

He nailed down one of his two 3-pointers and also grabbed a rebound for a bucket.

Lodge scored early in the lane and 5-foot-10 junior guard Kaden Wilson drove the lane for a score that forced a Sparta time out at 4:41 with it 10-2 Pioneers.

“We can't let teams get out to a big lead like that. They came out with a lot of energy and took it to us early,” said Coach Norton.

Keen stopped the bleeding for a bit as he scored on a nice back door cut to the basket and then added a three-point play while being fouled by Lodge.

His made free throw made it 11-7 Trico with 2:53 left in the first quarter.

The rest of the quarter belonged to Coach King's club.

Levan and 5-foot-1 senior guard Jesse Smith added consecutive baskets and then Lodge delivered three straight scores.

He hit a pair of shots on drives to the basket where he pulled up for mid-range jumpers.

Lodge also muscled in for a basket for a 21-7 Trico lead.

However with :36.4 left in the quarter, Lodge grabbed one of his early rebounds on the defensive end and was called for an offensive foul when he swung his elbow at a Sparta player.

This was his second personal and he went to the bench.

His teammates managed to pick him up when Levan drove the lane for a final score of the quarter, sending the Pioneers to a 23-7 lead at the first horn.

Cleland added another basket to his game resume as the Pioneers took their largest lead of the night at 25-7.

Sparta managed to outscore the hosts the rest of the quarter, 10-5.

Or actually, Keen outscored the Pioneers.

The senior lefty guard made a couple of nice drives to the basket for points and delivered a much needed 3-pointer from the right corner as the Bulldogs leader pieced together a run for his team.

Trico's points came from Wilson and Smith, each scoring on drives.

Smith's came on a fast break after a Sparta turnover.

Keen added a pair of free throws in the quarter and Trico began what turned out to be an awful night at the foul line.

Trico made just 1-of-4 attempts as the half closed at 30-17.

Lodge went right back to work in the third quarter, added three more scores in the lane.

Keen got help his teammates in the third quarter, namely 6-foot-4 senior forward Kerry Harris.

Harris added three buckets to the Sparta total during, which included a nice basket on an assist from 6-foot-6 senior teammate Bradyne Cometto.

Trico could have made the game much less interesting had they converted from the charity stripe.

The Pioneers, with Lodge missing four of them, missed five consecutive free throws at the end of the third quarter.

Sparta got one final bucket in the third quarter as Keen fed 6-foot-2 sophomore Colin Sheldon in the lane to close the stanza at 38-27.

Following a pair of 3-point bombs by Ethington, with the second one coming with just 1:08 left, Sparta was down just 48-39.

The Bulldogs managed to cut the lead down to nine points twice in the final minutes but they couldn't get any closer.

Cleland grabbed two huge offensive rebounds off of missed free throws by his teammates.

The sophomore then hit 3-of-4 from the foul line (4-of-6 for the game) in the final minute of the contest to seal the win.

The Pioneers hit 21-of-44 shots overall and just 2-of-8 from the 3-point line, with both coming from Cleland.

Coach King saw his club commit 10 of its 13 turnovers in the second half.

Sparta connected on just 14-of-43 from the floor and only 4-of-15 from the arc.

The Bulldogs did hit 7-of-10 from the foul line and had chances in the second half to mount a better rally but each time it fell short.

Each team will head back into action on Friday night as the tournament continues.

Galatia and Sparta will play at 6 pm while long time rivals Trico and Steeleville will play at 7:30 pm.

The teams will crossover on Saturday to play the teams from the Murphysboro side of the tournament in the final games to determine the placings.


Sparta (39)
– Merideth 0 1 0-0 3, Renner 0 0 0-0 0, Hicks 0 0 0-0 0, Keen 4 1 6-7 17, Williams 0 0 0-0 0, Ethington 1 2 0-0 8, Parks 0 0 0-0 0, Harris 3 0 0-1 6, Cometto 1 0 0-0 2, Baue 0 0 0-0 0, Sheldon 1 0 1-2 3.
2FG-10, 3FG-4, FT-7-10, PF-17.

Trico (51) – Kranawetter 1 0 0-3 2, Baker 0 0 0-0 0, Wilson 3 0 0-0 6, Lovel 0 0 0-0 0, Lissimore 0 0 0-0 0, Levan 3 0 1-3 7, Smith 2 0 0-1 4, Vogt 0 0 0-0 0, Cleland 3 2 4-6 16, Lodge 7 0 2-8 16, Thies 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-19, 3FG-2, FT-7-21, PF-13.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Warriors jumped out to a 21-5 lead by early in the second quarter and then held off the Bearcats to pick up their first win of the tournament and the season.

Head coach Aaron Fiene got a game-best 24 points from 6-foot senior Austin Hagel in the victory to even their mark at 1-1 on the season and the tournament.

Six-foot-four sophomore Chase Newby tossed in 10 points in the victory while freshman Jacoby Gross and senior Jordan Wilson added seven points each.

Sophomore Xach Mevert also added five points in the win for the Warriors.

Galatia (0-2) and head coach Rod Wallace, in their first year at the event, got 18 points from 5-foot-10 senior guard Braxton Lane and 15 points from 5-foot-11 sophomore Zane Carlile in the loss.


Steeleville (66)
– Gerlach 2 0 2-2 6, Lazenby 0 0 0-0 0, Gross 0 1 4-6 7, Harris 2 0 0-0 4, Mevert 1 0 3-4 5, Wasson 0 0 0-1 0, Hagel 4 4 4-7 24, Sutton 0 1 0-0 3, Newby 5 0 0-0 10, Wilson 3 0 1-5 7, Buch 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-17, 3FG-6, FT-14-25, PF-16.

Galatia (53) – Lane 4 2 4-4 18, Hankins 1 0 2-2 4, Hale 1 2 0-0 8, Carlile 6 1 0-1 15, Frailey 3 0 2-2 8, Murphy 0 0 0-0 0, Wright 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-15, 3FG-5, FT-8-9, PF-22.

Fouled Out – Hankins - Galatia..
Technical Fouls – None.