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By LARRY GOFFINET
CANNELTON—Cannelton built an 18-point lead with a 25-point third quarter and held off Whitesville Trinity 68-59 in boys basketball Thursday.
The Bulldogs led 25-16 at halftime though they had hit only 10 of 28 shots from the field.
But they hit 8 of 14 in the third quarter and 7 of 7 free throws as they stretched their lead to 50-32 with 0:39 left in the period.
They hit two three-pointers in that span but made their other six field goals from within 6 feet of the basket.
Five of them came on drives, including three in transition.
“We wanted to speed it up a little bit,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “We play better at that pace.”
He wasn’t pleased that Trinity made layups on three consecutive possessions twice in that quarter, including three press-breaking ones—one off a long pass over the press.
But Cannelton still outscored the Raiders 25-20 in the period.
A 10-2 Raider run capped by two baskets after offensive rebounds pulled them within eight points, 65-57, with 0:57 left.
But Damon Powers hit 1 of 2 free throws for Cannelton three seconds later and Michael Miller later made a press-breaking layup to enable the Bulldogs to withstand Trinity’s comeback attempt.
Tristan Simmons led the Bulldogs with 22 points. He scored 10 of their first 15 to get them off to a hot start.
He hit 9 of 16 from the field, including 3 of 3 from three-point range.
Quinn Duke added 16 points, including eight in the big third quarter.
“Quinn is playing well,” said Garrett. “He made a lot of good shot fakes and put the ball on the floor and attacked.”
Powers contributed 11 points, Elijah Littles 10, and Miller nine.
Field-goal percentages were nearly even, with the Bulldogs hitting 43.4 percent and the Raiders 44.4 percent.
But Cannelton hit 17 of 25 free throws (68.0 percent) compared with 6 of 14 (42.9 percent) for Trinity.
Trinity had a 35-34 edge in rebounds, though the Bulldogs won that battle 21-15 in the second half.
“The second quarter we played great defense, holding them to four points,” said Garrett. “We’ve just got to find a way to secure rebounds (Trinity won the board battle 12-7 that period).”
Duke grabbed nine rebounds, Littles eight, and Simmons six for Cannelton.
Dakota Wathen led the 7-11 Raiders with 20 points, including their first 10 of the game.
Nathaniel Mills grabbed seven rebounds for Trinity.
Cannelton, 2-15, will play at Rock Creek Academy Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
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Trinity won the JV game 39-38 on a three-pointer by Blake Midkiff at the final buzzer.
Jayden Morris scored 10 points in two quarters to lead Cannelton. Bryce Garrett and Jeff Kendall each added nine.