FAIRLAND — Triton Central is going to score a ton of points this season. Will opposing teams be able to keep up?
After their fifth consecutive 20-win campaign last season (20-4), the Tigers have reloaded and are again one of the top teams in their class. Triton Central earned a No. 2 ranking in the ICGSA Preseason Class 2A poll and remained at No. 2 in this week’s (Nov. 8) poll after cruising past 1A No. 12 Greenwood Christian Academy 79-41 in its season opener.
TC (1-0) did not play its starters much of the fourth quarter but had three players (Lizzie Graham, Olivia Faust and Maddy Brown) score 18 or more points in the lopsided win.
“You have Lizzie who can score and you have Olivia who can score; then I think people forget about Maddy, because she only played four games last year (injury),” said Triton Central head coach Bryan Graham, who is 263-55 in his 14th season with the program. “We have six or seven girls who can reach double digits on any night. You never get a game where all your players are hitting shots. But I was joking with my assistant coaches saying we may score 100 points (if everyone is on). We are very blessed to have individuals who can hit shots.”
Lizzie and Brown are two members of a strong junior class. Faust, a versatile 6-1 senior forward, transferred from Franklin Central to Triton Central over the offseason. Together, they form a three-headed scoring monster that will be difficult to stop.
Lizzie, a versatile player in her own right, led the Tigers with 21 points in Saturday’s win. Brown, a quick and athletic guard, added 18 points. Faust scored 20 points in her debut in a green and white uniform. The three girls combined to make nine 3-pointers (Lizzie had four).
“We scored 79 points and had a running clock,” Graham said. “Everyone did what they needed to do and played well. Greenwood Christian is going to better than people think.”
Lizzie averaged 13.4 points last season and has already received multiple college offers. Faust, who scored 10.7 points per game as a junior at FC, committed to Marian University in July.
“Olivia has fit in great,” Graham said. “She is a good kid off the court. We are excited to have her in our family here at Triton Central.”
Junior guard Jenna Cox has slid into the point guard position after the graduation of 2021 senior Taylor Heath (9.5 apg last season). Cox, a highly unselfish player who can also score the basketball, averaged 6.9 points and 2.3 assists as a sophomore. Junior guard Hallie Schweitzer (4.2 ppg last season) will help handle the ball with Cox.
“Jenna and Hallie can both play the one,” Graham said. “Jenna just glides down the floor. She is a good set shooter and tries to get everyone involved early. Hallie has really improved on her pull up jump shots and getting to the rim. I love the combination of the two; it is really good for us.”
Senior forward Maia Harris was the team’s fifth starter against GCA. Although her statistics do not always show it, Harris is an extramely valuable player as she does a number of things well.
“Maia is so fundamental in what she does,” Graham said. “She has been a die-hard LTB fan (Lady Tiger Basketball) since a young age. She embraces the leadership role and wants to make everyone around her better. On our plus-minus chart, she comes out so well on that even though she doesn’t shoot a lot. She does all the small things we talk about everyday in practice.”
Sophomore forward Brooklyn Bailey is another core rotation player for Coach Graham. She brings instant energy to the floor. Bailey scored nine points Saturday.
“Brooklyn might have some of the best hands I have seen” Graham said.
Junior forward Riley Ross and sophomore guard Kennedy Brown will also see varsity action this season.
A deep and athletic roster will allow Triton Central to speed teams up defensively.
“We have so many girls who can guard multiple positions,” Graham said. “And Jenna and Hallie up top are just so fast and athletic.”
Triton Central will host its own tournament Dec. 28-29 with Jac-Cen-Del, Heritage Christian, Southport, Elkhart, Franklin County, Northeastern and Danville coming to Fairland. Rock Creek Academy will visit for TC’s annual “Pink Out” game Jan. 21.