Triton Central advanced to its fourth consecutive Shelby County Tournament final with a 59-38 win over Morristown Friday in the second semifinal of the night.
The Tigers were led by senior point guard Alex Crouse, who scored a team-high 18 points. Senior guard Caleb Miller finished with 15 points while junior guard Isaac Morgan added 12 points.
Triton Central will look to repeat as county champs against Waldron Saturday night at 8 p.m. Last season, the Tigers beat Morristown 74-49 in the county tournament title game.
Triton Central, which started the season 4-0, entered Friday's game on a four-game losing streak. Crouse said the victory over the Yellow Jackets was a reset mentally.
“We forgot how to play hard,” Crouse said, who is dishing out nearly 5.0 assists per game this season. “Tonight was great for all of us to bounce back after a tough stretch of games. This was definitely needed for all of us on the team.”
The Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead early in the first quarter and led 10-5 after one. Triton Central extended its lead to 25-17 at halftime and started to pull away late in the third quarter.
Give Morristown credit, though. The Yellow Jackets would not go away quietly. Triton Central eventually outscored Morristown 19-10 in the fourth quarter to secure the semifinal victory.
Yellow Jackets' senior forward Nick Stidham scored a game-high 21 points, 12 coming in the second quarter, which was all of Morristown's points in the frame. Junior guard Nolan Laster also played well, flashing his athleticism in the open court. He finished with 17 points.
Despite the loss, Stidham said he feels like his team (1-9) has come a long way since the beginning of the season.
“We have grown much closer as a team,” Stidham said, who was the lone returning starter from last season. “We all have been playing with each other since elementary school, so this is nothing new to us. We love the challenge of being the underdog.”
Triton Central (6-6) will look to get past Waldron for a second time this season Saturday night following the Girls Shelby County Tournament championship. The Tigers defeated the Mohawks on Dec. 2, 67-47.
Triton Central will play the county tournament championship without senior forward Aiden Lindsey, who is out with an injury (injured Dec. 8 against Greenfield-Central). Lindsey, the team's leading scorer, finished with 17 points in the previous contest between the Tigers and the Mohawks.