Montour avenges loss to Trinity

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | 10:24 PM

Exactly five weeks ago, Montour squandered a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a three-point overtime loss to Trinity on the road.

Montour learned from its mistake Tuesday night.

The Spartans built a 15-point lead after three quarters on their home court and this time, they rolled to a 77-59 win against those same Hillers.

In a physical game that saw two double fouls, a technical foul and three players fouling out, Montour dominated early to take a 26-13 lead after the first quarter. The Spartans enjoyed a run of 8-0 in the first two minutes and outscored Trinity, 13-2, to finish the quarter.

Tyler Banks, who finished with 19 points, had 10 points in the first quarter to lead the Spartans to a lead they didn’t relinquish.

Trinity outscored Montour 15-8 in the second quarter to climb to within six points at the half.

Montour was led by senior Alex Boyden, who scored 21 points on the night, 15 of which came in the second half. Boyden also led the team in rebounds with 12, many coming on the offensive boards.

After James Eubanks and Justin Labrie got into first-half foul trouble, the Spartans got extensive contributions from bench players.

Junior Luke Persinger scored 13 points off the bench and played a significant role in the Spartans’ rebounding edge. Sophomore Isayah Mosley had nine points, all in the second half.

“It’s been baptism by fire for some of our younger players so far this year,” said Montour head coach Bill Minnear. “They’ve really stepped up and have played very well for us all year, which has led directly to our success.”

Trinity was led by outstanding senior guard Michael Koroly, who had 17 points.

Trinity coach Tim Tessmer was disappointed by his team getting sucked into the physical style of play.

“I thought that we got wrapped up in the things that don’t pertain to basketball,” he said. “We got caught up in the physicality and trash talking and got out of our rhythm early in the game.”

Tessmer pointed to his team’s struggles coming out of halftime that have led to a five-game section losing streak.

“We’ve been struggling to finish games in the second halves of games,” he said. “In each of our five losses recently, it’s poor third-quarter performance that has done us in, especially the first couple minutes of the third quarter.”

Montour has won four of its last five games to run its record to 8-7, 5-3 in Section 2-5A.

“Our goal is not to qualify for the playoffs. Our goal is to win our section, and we feel like we still have time to do just that,” said Minnear.

Montour will go on the road to face West Allegheny on Friday night.

With the loss, Trinity falls to 9-7, 4-5 and will take on West Mifflin on Friday night.

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