- Val T.
Kindig’s 3-point play helps secure Argos win over Triton
Morris adds game-high 14 in Sectional 50 preview
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS –- The Argos boys basketball team led visiting Triton by 12 points at one point in the second quarter at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Saturday night.
But by the time there was 2:30 left, the Argos lead was down to 40-37, and Triton
sharpshooter Ashton Oviedo had a look at an open 3-pointer.
What followed was two-and-a-half minutes in which Argos not only reasserted control of the game but might have become the frontrunner when Class 1A, Sectional 50 convenes in 10 days.
J.J. Morris scored a game-high 14 points, and Dylan Kindig added 13, including a crucial 3-point play with 2:20 left that kickstarted a game-ending 11-2 run as Argos went on to beat Triton 51-39.
Michael Richard and Teddy Redinger added eight points each for the Class 1A, No. 12 Dragons, who won their seventh straight game and improved to 15-4.
John Gardner scored 10 for Triton, who fell to 14-5.
Oviedo missed his 3-pointer, and the rebound bounced high and hit the basket support. That gave the ball to Argos out of bounds.
Triton set up their press.
Richard dribbled sideways to his right and threw a pass at a 45-degree angle to Jake Stults. Stults then hit ahead to Kindig. Watching from the bench, Argos coach Gordon Mosson thought Kindig was going to take a mid-range jump shot.
But having said that, Mosson had told the team he wanted them to attack the basket against Triton’s pressure, and the 6-4 junior Kindig drove to the basket.
Keegan Westafer slid over, but Kindig kept his eye on the rim and dropped in a layup as the whistle blew. Westafer was called for a blocking foul, and Kindig made the free throw to complete the 3-point play and get the lead to six.
“He presents a big, wide body defensively inside, whether we’re playing zone or man,” Argos coach Gordon Mosson said. “I think the 3-point play was the play of the game. If I'm not mistaken, we were up three at the time, so we went from three to six. So that’s obviously another possession and maybe two possessions.”
Argos then made six of their last eight free throws while preventing Triton from getting another Argos started in a 2-3 zone defense with Richard and Stults on top but also showed a man-to-man.
“We were just trying to keep them off-balance a little bit and tried not to let them get too much in a rhythm on offense,” Mosson said. “They’re capable of putting points on the board really quick. So we were just trying to slow that down a little bit and make them come down and make a few adjustments. So we switched quite a bit. Actually it’s the first time this year that we’ve done it that much.”
Triton coach Jason Groves, a 1994 John Glenn grad who played for Mosson in high school – one of his teammates was current Argos principal Nick Medich, said he expected the switching defenses.
“We knew that was coming, and they’ve done that in the past, and our kids did a decent job recognizing,” Groves said. “We’ve just been struggling offensively lately. We haven’t had issues all year, and then recently, we haven't been shooting the ball well. We just haven’t been playing with a lot of confidence. So we’ve got to get that back and figure out what our issue is and take care of it.”
This was the teams’ first meeting since Argos beat Triton 28-26 in last year’s sectional final on Richard’s buzzer beater. Argos also beat Triton in the 2019 sectional final.
Morris’ night was highlighted by a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer that gave the Dragons a 28-20 lead.
“This was a big one because everybody knows in our sectional that this is a big one right here,” Morris said. “It usually determines it. We know coming into this it gives you momentum coming into the sectional, so whoever gets this one has confidence. And we’re just really glad we could pull this one off before sectional.”
Argos 51, Triton 39
TRITON (39) (14-5)
Cole McKinney 1 0-0 3, Ashton Oviedo 2 3-4 7, Tyson Yates 4 0-0 9, John Gardner 4 2-3 10, Bruce Johnson 2 0-0 5, Hunter McIntyre 0 0-0 0, Keegan Westafer 1 1-2 3, Cole Shively 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 15 6-9 39
ARGOS (51) (15-4)
Michael Richard 2 3-4 8, Jake Stults 2 0-0 4, J.J. Morris 5 3-4 14, Teddy Redinger 4 0-2 8, Dylan Kindig 4 5-5 13, Caden Nifong 0 0-0 0, Kayden Brady 0 0-0 0, Sean Richard 2 0-1 4
TEAM: 19 11-16 51
Three-point field goals:
Triton 3 (Yates, Johnson, McKinney),
Argos 2 (Morris, M. Richard)
Total fouls: Triton 19, Argos 10
Technical foul: Triton bench, 7:46, second
Turnovers: Triton 8, Argos 15
Score by quarters
Triton 7 13 10 9 – 39
Argos 13 15 8 15 – 51