On Thursday night, the Trenton High School boys basketball team defeated Newberry High School in the 1A regional semifinals by a score of 45-35. This was the second consecutive match-up between these two teams after Trenton won last Friday’s 65-57 overtime thriller in the 1A District 7 Championship.
Xavier Jones led the Tigers with 16 points, all of which game in the second half of the game, while Michael Moore led the Panthers with nine points.
After winning this win-or-go-home game, Trenton will advance to the Regional Finals, where they will face the Hawthorne Hornets at home on Tuesday, February 22 at 7 p.m.
Offense Starts off Quiet
In their previous match-up, there were 31 combined points recorded in the first quarter. This was not the case in this game as both teams combined for 12 points.
Reggie White and Persian Sylvester were the only Newberry players to score in the first quarter, with each of them recording a basket. The Tigers recorded two three-pointers and a jumper in the quarter.
At the end of the quarter, the score was 8-4 in favor of Trenton.
Panthers Claw Ahead
After a slow start, the Panthers offense began to find a groove as the second quarter got underway.
Five different players recorded a score in the quarter, with five points coming from Michael Moore, Newberry’s leading scorer.
— Ellie Shreve (@ellie_shreve) February 18, 2022
While the Panthers were clicking offensively, the Tigers kept the margin small, with Tyler Perry recording four points in the quarter. After a layup from Nate Ridgell, the score at the half was 18-17 in favor of Newberry.
Back and Forth Offense
As the second half got underway, the game remained even as both teams continued to trade baskets.
Shelton Hall began to assert himself offensively, recording four of his five points in the quarter.
As the quarter continued on, Trenton’s shooting began to fade, but they still found ways to score off of layups and put-backs.
As the game approached the fourth quarter, the score was 27-26 in favor of Newberry.
Xavier Jones Heats Up
Xavier Jones came out blazing to start the final quarter of play, recording three consecutive three-pointers.
The Tigers’ leading scorer could not miss on Friday night, recording all 16 of his points in the second half of the game.
After Jones recorded his fourth three-pointer of the game, Newberry coach Patrick Green called a timeout with 4:04 remaining in the game.
After this stoppage, the Panthers could not convert offensive possessions to points. The team continued to have mental errors and turn the ball over, resulting in points for Trenton.
After Mason Smith scored a layup, Trenton led by eight points with three minutes remaining. A few free throws from Jones put this game out of reach and the Trenton Tigers defeated the Panthers by a score of 45-35.
Hats Off to Newberry
One word to describe this team? Resilient. In spite of the tragic loss of Mahki Bostic, who would have been a senior this season, the team rallied together and produced one of the most successful seasons in nearly 20 years for Newberry High School.
The Panthers had a tremendous year, recording an 18-5 record in the regular season and entering the district playoffs as the top seed. The team reached the district championship for the first time since 2006 and came up just short of their first district title since 2004.
In spite of the loss of someone as important as Bostic, the Newberry High School boys’ basketball team had a stellar season. This team was led by numerous senior talents who played a key role in improving the team’s record each season.
Coach Green reminded his team after the loss that, “this was still a really, really good season,” and admitted that while the loss was tough, it’s important that the team remembers the good things and the positives that came out of this season.
Green also said that the team will come back stronger and better and that they will use this loss as motivation in the offseason.
#NewberryHighSchool Head Coach Patrick Green after the Panthers were eliminated from the regional playoffs.
In spite of the loss, this team had a stellar season, reaching the district championship for the first time since the 2006 season.
Newberry has a lot to be proud of. pic.twitter.com/gLnUddTLi1
— Bradley Shimel (@bradleyshimel_) February 18, 2022