By Jeff Rancudo
If nothing else, Trion’s Lady Bulldogs might be rewarded for continuing to try as they pulled out a 48-38 win over host Christian Heritage in the Sub-region 6A-A opener for both schools Friday night.
Trion struggled in the first half against Christian Heritage’s suffocating press, but the Lady Bulldogs pulled away in the third period. Trion also found a way to slow down the relentless attack of Lady Lions guard Sarah Massengale as the Lady Bulldogs improved to 4-4, 1-0 while Christian Heritage dropped to 2-11 overall and 0-1. Trion (4-4 overall) was also quite fortunate that the Lady Lions (2-11) shot a horrendous 22 percent from the field, sinking just 12 of 54 field goal attempts with 0-for-15 coming from 3-point range.
Christian Heritage coach Heather Lowery shined with optimism after the loss, knowing her team never quit and kept shooting and hustling.
“We made great strides tonight,” Lowery said. “I thought we executed our game plan pretty well. We went in and out of our press and gave them some different looks. We had put some sets in over the Christmas break and we did a good job of running them.”
Sarah Massengale kept Christian Heritage close in the first half with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot as the Lady Lions trailed 23-21 at the half. But Haley Jones, who led Trion with 15 points, dominated the third period, scoring all nine points as Massengale had all four of Christian Heritage’s point in third with two jump shots. Trion had built a 32-25 lead by the end of three periods, but the Lady Lions would get no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Trion centered much of its defense around stopping Massengale and it worked well enough as Massengale had just eight points in the second half. Trion guard Crystal Lee broke the Christian Heritage press repeatedly with her full-court dribbling skills and hit four free throws in the final 2:44 of the game to seal the win.
• Trion boys 73, Christian Heritage 62: The Bulldogs (8-2) jumped to a 21-5 lead after one period and held off strong comeback attempts by the Lions (6-7).
Christian Heritage fought back, but Isaac Thomas’ 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks were too much.
Trion surprised no one with their talent as they came in with only two losses coming to higher classification foes Calhoun and Cartersville and with Class A’s third-leading rebounding statewide in Thomas, a 6-foot, 6-inch post with ball-handling skills.
Ethan Young cranked out 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first half as the Bulldogs built a 33-31 lead at intermission. Christian Heritage answered Trion’s fast start as Cameron Locke hit two three-pointers in the second period and Nich Bartley and Chase Tidwell nailed one trey apiece as Christian Heritage kept it close.
Jake Porter led Christian Heritage with 14 points while Locke had 12, including four three-pointers.
“We showed growth tonight, and we’re learning what Georgia High School basketball is all about,” coach Anthony Moseley said. “We lost the game in the first period. But I was proud to see us come back.”