MAYO — Trenton used a seven-minute run spanning the first and second halves to regain the lead and control Tuesday night in a battle of undefeated girls basketball teams.
After falling behind midway through the second quarter, the Tigers battled back for a slim halftime lead and eventually outlasted Lafayette 58-53.
In the battle of unbeatens, the Hornets were trailing in the second quarter when they surged in front on nine Rene Clines points to go up 28-21 with less than four minutes until halftime. The Tigers had led 17-13 after the first and tabbed two baskets in the first four minutes of the second quarter.
During the Hornet charge, Clines mad a nice move around Trenton’s Samarie McHenry to tie it at 19, then scored the next two baskets on turnovers and hit a 3-pointer.
The turnover-producing Tigers climbed back and took a 29-28 lead at the half with the final points coming on a McHenry rebound and basket and another two points when she got wide open under the basket.
McHenry loomed large all night and led the Tigers with 20 points and 14 rebounds. The Tigers accumulated 33 turnovers in the game. Trenton improved to 6-0, while LHS fell to 4-1.
Kinsey Akins started the third for the Tigers getting wide open under the basket for two points, and Jordan Douglas swished a 3 and got two points on a fast break to extend Trenton’s lead to 38-31.
Lafayette coach Jimmy Blankenship said Trenton’s third quarter start came when they emerged from the half utilizing a box-and-1 defense on Clines.
“We knew they were going to do that, and our girls didn’t do what they were supposed to do against a box-and-1,” he said. “One is to make shots, another is to attack, but they caused us not to do those things.”
Clines added: “We have to get more players involved. When they go box-and-1 on me, someone has to be open.”
The Hornets stuck around with six straight points on a Charlie James basket, two points by Clines on a fast break and a nice move to the basket by Brooklyn Fleming with 2:41 left in the third quarter.
But that was all Lafayette would muster in the third as Trenton closed the period with a 47-38 lead.
The Hornets began to press late in the game but that left McHenry and Janiyah King open under the basket for easy points.
Fleming stole an inbound pass and converted for two to make it pull LHS within 58-50 with 1:04 left, but the Hornets couldn’t get subsequent shots to drop until Fleming added a score with seconds to go for the final.
Clines led all scorers with 25 points, while Fleming had 13 for the Hornets.
“I don’t think many teams have what Blankenship has in Clines,” Trenton coach Bryant Fyre said. “With elite players that can score you have to adjust on defense so I put my best defender Akins on Rene.”
Brie Becker and Akins each had 12 points, with Akins getting seven steals.
The Tigers and Hornets may meet again next week when Trenton hosts a tournament with Suwannee, Lafayette and Orange Park attending. The top two teams will play in a championship game.