LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Trinity made sure its third trip to the boys Sweet 16 in four years was going to last longer than its previous two.
After trailing briefly 3-2, the Shamrocks scored the next 22 points and went on to pound Johnson Central, 70-28, in its Sweet 16 opener Wednesday afternoon. Trinity had lost first round games in both 2016 and 2018.
The 15th Region champions showed some resiliency after that early blitz to outscore Trinity in the second quarter, 12-11. They got within nine, but the lead was back up to 35-19 at halftime, and Trinity outscored them 20-4 to start the third quarter. Trinity head coach Mike Szabo was able to pull his starters with a few minutes remaining in the third quarter.
"I was real happy with the way we started the game," Szabo said. "I thought we came out with great energy, focus, toughness. Obviously, that's the way you want to start a game."
The Rocks (27-8) shot 60 percent from the field, led by Jamil Hardaway, who made all eight of his shots for 18 points. David Johnson had 13 points and a game-high six rebounds. Stan Turnier made 4-5, including a pair of threes, for 10 points. They held Johnson Central to just 27 percent shooting for the game.
"If you have aspirations of winning a state championship, and I think most teams in Kentucky say they do, including ours, that's where you got to get to," Johnson Central coach Tommy McKenzie said.
Trinity will play either Owensboro or Ashland Blazer at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals.
"We're just trying to feed off last week," Szabo said. "We had a great regional tournament, and I thought we played really well and played hard and played smart. That's winning basketball."
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