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Gameday Central | Regional Quarterfinals vs. Trinity

 

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

Saint Xavier Tigers (19-11) vs. Trinity Shamrocks (28-3)

Tuesday, February 28

Varsity Game — 7:00 PM

Trinity High School

Louisville, KY

GAME NOTES

Tiger Basketball will look to get back on track following a hardfought loss to Male in last Thursday’s 26th District Championship. The Tigers trailed by 10 with less than two minutes left in the game, but they managed to come back and miraculously force overtime after Jack Koch hit a three to tie it up at the buzzer. They would eventually 67-63.

This will be St. X’s third battle against the Shamrocks this season. The two rivals previously met on January 6 and January 11. Trinity claimed the first two victories but Coach Klein’s squad firmly believes the third time’s the charm.

Last time the Tigers played at Trinity was in 1998 in the 7th Region Tournament and the Tigers defeated the Shamrocks, so watch for history to repeat itself.

The Tigers Have become very confident in their defense down the stretch this season. They will look to stifle Trinity’s offense with a strong, gritty performance on that end of the floor.

Come out and support your Tigers as they look to make another deep run in the 7th Region Tournament on their road to Rupp! Get out to Trinity and cheer on your Tigers!

COVERAGE

Twitter: @WSTXSports

Gameday Central | Tiger Basketball vs. Trinity

Friday, January 6th | 7:30 P.M. | Broadbent Arena | Louisville, KY

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Tyler Barnes | Photo by Varsity Views

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

Saint Xavier Tigers (9-4) vs. Trinity Shamrocks (13-1)
Friday, January 6th
Varsity Game – 7:30 P.M.
JV Game – 6:00 P.M.
Freshman Game -4:30 P.M.
Broadbent Arena
Louisville, KY

GAME NOTES

Both teams come into the game with wins. The Tigers notched a big win on Tuesday, narrowly defeating DeSales, while the Shamrocks defeated Collins High School 67-49.

Trinity was ranked the #2 team in the state in the first LIT Rankings, however, they defeated the #1 ranked Covington Catholic in the King of the Bluegrass Tournament a few weeks ago. With only one loss on the season, the Shamrocks are having a great season to date.

This time last year, the Tigers were in a similar position, as the Shamrocks were ranked #4 in the state. The Tigers prevailed, so take it for what it’s worth, but they have a realistic shot at pulling off the upset.

Lastly, do not forget to wear gold!!!

COVERAGE

Twitter: @WSTXSports
Last game: Defeated DeSales (61-56)

Salute to the Game Luncheon Information

St. X vs. Trinity

Get in the Game! & Save The Date!

The 8th Annual – SALUTE TO THE GAME LUNCHEON

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 The Galt House Hotel

Proceeds to benefit the Catholic Education Foundation, an organization dedicated to the growth and vitality of Catholic Education.The Foundation grants more than $2 million annually to support Catholic education, primarily in the form of tuition assistance awards.

Football Coaches Will Wolford and Bob Beatty talk X’s and O’s and keys to the big game as the Trinity Shamrocks and Saint Xavier Tigers get ready for their annual storied football rivalry. The date is set. The players are ready. Now you can join the fun and help the Catholic Education Foundation raise funds to help a child receive the gift of a Catholic education right here in our community. And what a difference that gift will make. GET IN THE GAME!

Let’s all get in the game of Catholic Education- it’s a sure winner for our entire community!

For information, call (502) 585-2747

Tigers Win!

The first goal got the momentum going for the Tigers | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

The first goal got the momentum going for the Tigers | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Tiger Lacrosse advances to the KY Lacrosse State Championship on Friday night after defeating Trinity 10-2.  Big performances from Collin Roppel, Blake Roshkowski and Max Cartor have put the Tigers in great position to repeat as state champions once again.

It would be the 10th in the last 15 years if the Tigers pull off the win Friday, which if it were bet on in Vegas, they would be heavily favored. Come out to see the Tigers bring home a state title on Friday at 7:00 PM at Br. Thomas More Stadium. Should be fun!

Gameday Central | Tiger Lacrosse vs. Trinity

Wednesday, May 13th | 8:00 PM | Br. Thomas More Stadium | Louisville, KY

Trinity Tiger Lacrosse Game Preview

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

St. Xavier Tigers (16-4) vs. Trinity Shamrocks (12-7)
Wednesday, May 13th
Semifinal Game – 8:00 PM
Br. Thomas More Stadium
Louisville, KY

GAME NOTES

Another year, another meeting between St. Xavier and Trinity in the lacrosse state tournament.  This time, it will be in the state semifinals which is a rare matchup.  Only 6 times since 2001 have we not seen this game being played for a state title.

For the third year in a row, the Tigers will host the state tournament at Br. Thomas More Stadium on the campus of St. Xavier. It is always special for the members of the team to play on their home field in the most important games of the year and it certainly gives them an edge. Pregame rituals are a little more familiar and takes at least a little bit of pressure off the biggest game of the season.

We are not so clueless to think the next game for whichever team advances will be a cake walk considering Tiger Lacrosse one of the two teams on the other side of the bracket a combined 28-4 in their two meetings, but every game matters and both games will have to be played with complete focus. We like our chances though if we advance to Friday night’s state championship showdown.

COVERAGE

Twitter: @WSTXSports, @TigerSports_TV
Last Game: Defeated North Oldham 25-2

Prediction Thread: The Trinity Game

Collin Roppel | Photo by Varsity Views Louisville

Collin Roppel | Photo by Varsity Views Louisville

Tomorrow night, the Tigers take the field for The Game: Lacrosse Playoff Edition.  If you didn’t know already, the Tigers will battle the Shamrocks at Br. Thomas More Stadium for a chance to go to the State Championship on Friday.

We want to hear about your excitement through this post! Comment below your score prediction and how you think the Tigers will knock off Trinity for the second year in a row.

Who do you think wins and why?  Leave your prediction in the comment section below!

Are you ready for Tiger Baseball vs. Trinity?

If that video doesn’t give you goosebumps, then you need to check your pulse! Just like everyone that just watched that, the guys on the Tiger Baseball team are jacked up for Thursday’s showdown with Trinity at Louisville Slugger Field.

Tomorrow night’s game vs. DeSales has been cancelled, so the next time you can go watch the Tigers play will be Thursday night at 6:00 PM at the home of the Louisville Bats and the house that a St. X grad built (Gary Ulmer, President of the Louisville Bats), Louisville Slugger Field.

Trinity enters the game winning eight of their last ten games and have an overall record of 19-8.  The Shamrocks lost to the top ranked team in the state, McCracken County, last Friday 3-0. Tiger Baseball is hitting its stride right now and should replace McCracken County as that top team here shortly in the rankings.  St. Xavier is riding an impressive eight game winning streak into Thursday night’s matchup.

The game really has no meaning, except there’s never a bad time to beat Trinity in anything.  Grant Wessling will be on the mound for the Tigers at Louisville Slugger Field where it should be an electric atmosphere in a Triple-A Ballpark. We hope to see you there!

Lacrosse fends off Trinity in OT

Blake Roshkowski | Photo by Varsity Views

Blake Roshkowski | Photo by Varsity Views

Wednesday night the Tiger Lacrosse team played arch rival Trinity in one of the most competitive games of the season so far. Neither team played especially well, but still gave the fans a great game to watch. After regular time and one overtime period, the Tigers claimed the sudden death victory over the Rocks 10-9.

There couldn’t have been much of a closer game. Every time St. X scored, Trinity found a way to respond and tie the game again. St. X started faster than Trinity. Blake Roshkowski started off the night of scoring with low rip from outside. After Trinity matched the Tigers goal, Leland Gray and Will Edwards each out one in, giving the Tigers the biggest lead of the night. After the first quarter of play, St. X led 3-2.

Only one more goal was added in the second quarter, and the game went into halftime with a score of 4-4. To start the second half, Will Edwards netted two more goals of his own, and the Tigers carried a 6-5 lead heading into the final regulation quarter.

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Collin Roppel | Photo by Varsity Views

The two teams traded goals in the start of the fourth quarter, and the score stood as 7-6. With about two minutes left, the momentum shifted in favor of Trinity on many different levels. The rocks were able to tie the game and then go up by two goals heading into the final two minutes of regulation. Trinity possessed the ball up until the final minute, where the Tiger defense forced a huge turnover. With 34 seconds left Collin Roppel took action by himself and made a great one on one move from behind the net, scoring the diving goal to decrease the Trinity lead to one goal.

In the final moments of regulation, midfielder Alex Cherry made several huge faceoff wins which drastically affected the turn in momentum. After Roppel’s goal. Cherry won the faceoff and dished it to Roshkowski, who ripped another dime from way outside, tying the game at 9-9 with 24 seconds left. We were headed into overtime.

Coleman Webb | Photo by Varsity Views

Coleman Webb | Photo by Varsity Views

Nearly the entire overtime period passed with no score. Trinity was given the man advantage midway through the period and had a good look at the goal, but nobody scores on THE Max Cartor late in important games. Cartor stepped into the close rip and blocked it with his gloves. The penalty was released and a string of turnovers ensued. With seconds left on the clock, Trinity made a bad turnover near the midline. Sophomore phenom Blake Roshkowski picked up the ball and immediately pushed it up field. After drawing the Trinity defender, Roshkowski dished it off to Gray, who was left one on one with goalie. Gray, who throws some of the dirtiest fakes in the game, stuck the goal as time expired, giving the Tigers the 10-9 sudden death victory over the Shamrocks.

MVP’s for the game: 

Alex Cherry: There is no doubt in my mind that Cherry deserves some of the biggest attention from Wednesday night’s game. He showed out at many points that often don’t receive much accolade, yet can determine the course of a game. Cherry has been tearing it up all season at the faceoff X. When his name was called late in the game, he stepped up to the plate and destroyed the Trinity faceoff man. His four massive faceoff wins late in the fourth quarter are definitely one of the biggest reasons why we are celebrating this win. This right here is why Cherry is one of my MVP’s for the night.

Will Edwards: Through all the nerves imposed by the idea of this being such a big game, many player’s games were affected, but not Edwards’. After struggling to find the net in his first couple of games in the season, he has slowly come back into his grove, tearing up the field. In the Trinity game Wednesday night, Edwards led all scoring with four goals, which ultimately had a huge impact on the game. This right here is why Edwards is one of my MVP’s for the night.

Max Cartor: We all know Max, AKA “the brick wall”, “the iron curtain”, or even “the road block”. What was impressive about Cartor’s game Wednesday night was his ability to adapt. Early on, Trinity stuck some great shots on Cartor’s off stick side. However, by the time the second half rolled around, he had adjusted. On two separate shots, Cartor made ridiculous saves coming all the way across his body. Also, his huge save in overtime was so important and handled with so much ease, that I thought it would be crazy if he was not one of my MVP’s for the night.

Preview: St. X vs. Trinity

St. X Head Coach Scott Howe knows a thing or two about beating Trinity. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

St. X Head Coach Scott Howe knows a thing or two about beating Trinity. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Tonight, the Tiger lacrosse team will take on archrival Trinity High School in a highly-touted match up between two of the best teams in the state. Trinity will enter the game 5-3, with their losses coming from three tough out-of-state opponents. The Shamrocks have performed far beyond preseason expectations, and looks to be a great matchup against our own Tigers.

“They are really strong in every area, and their improvement through the year has really shown,” remarked senior St. X goalie Max Cartor. “But we feel confident playing at this field and will be ready to rock and roll come game time.”

To this point in the season, the Tigers and Rocks have played two of the same teams. Both took on Lexington Catholic, where Trinity defeated them 13-3 and St. X won 13-1. Also, both teams hosted Libertyville High School from Illinois. The Rocks narrowly defeated them 11-7, while St. X handled them easily with the final score of 14-7.

The two similar matchups don’t really tell us much about what we could expect Wednesday night, though. All we know is that it will be a good matchup in all areas of the field.

Who should we look out for? Well, senior LSM Jeremiah Hemme has been a strong force on the defensive side of the field, also extending his game to the offense on fast breaks and transitions. Senior Max Stratton has put up buckets of goals as a midfielder for the Rocks. The two pose a threat to our Tigers, but shouldn’t be anything they can’t handle. St. X will also be content to face Trinity without Jackson Lienhart, a senior attackman signed with Bellarmine University who wreaked havoc on St. X as a junior last season. He has since transferred to Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, and therefore will be far away from Marshall Stadium tonight.

Of course for the Tigers, Cartor, attackman Collin Roppel, and junior defenseman Caleb Grimes have been studs on the field this year. Roppel’s offensive command has led the Tigers through multiple big games, while Grimes and Cartor have left offenses frustrated with their lockdown defense.

In the past three years, the Tigers have led the head-to-head matchup, claiming 4 of the 6 meetings between the rivaling teams, with two of the wins coming from State Championship games.

The game is Wednesday night at 7:00 hosted by Trinity. It’s a black out, so let’s get out there, get rowdy, and beat the Weeds!

St. X vs Trinity – Positional Breakdowns: Bench

Billy Basham has an opportunity to affect the game with his relentless energy on both ends of the floor. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Billy Basham has an opportunity to affect the game with his relentless energy on both ends of the floor. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

There is no denying that the both team’s benches are huge facets of this ball game. And none of these guys are benchwarmers. They are all ballers and affect the game in big ways when called upon. Let’s take a look at how these second unit guys will influence the game.

St. Xavier Depth Chart

– #15 Nick Kitchen- 6’3″| 180 lbs.| Senior

– #5 Connor McKim- 6’2″| 162 lbs.| Junior

– #22 Billy Basham- 6’2″| 185 lbs. | Junior

-#4 Connor Knight- 6’0″| 171 lbs.| Junior

St. Xavier Overview

As I mentioned in the guards breakdown, McKim is a big time player and can take over at any time. Coach Klein toggles back and forth between Josh Rudy and McKim as starting point guards, so McKim is essentially the sixth man if he’s not starting. But the real sixth man, usually first off the bench, is senior forward Nick Kitchen. Able to play the 3 or the 4, Kitchen’s versatility gives the Tigers a much needed boost. Although it may not always be a visible impact, Kitchen is a true grinder who plays with grit and veteran savvy. He scraps in the low post so hard that you wouldn’t notice he’s undersized as a power forward.

Billy Basham is usually a big energy boost for the Tigers off the bench. Although his playing time fluctuates, Basham is a reliable cog in the Tiger offense and a huge defensive asset. A big time bonus that Basham can bring to the game is he can rip off a scoring streak in an instant. Set up by his intense defense, Basham’s offensive game is one to admire because he is extremely creative in the way he gets his points. Coach Klein may go to Basham early on in Friday night’s contest if he doesn’t like what he’s seeing from the usual rotation of forwards.

Third string court orchestrator Connor Knight doesn’t get the credit he deserves. While he doesn’t log big time minutes, Knight is an elite passer and dribbler who tries to mediate pressure and game flow when he is in the game.

 

 

D'Angelo West can fill it up in a hurry coming off the bench for the Rocks. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

D’Angelo West can fill it up in a hurry coming off the bench for the Rocks. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

 

Trinity Depth Chart

-#1 D’Angelo West | Senior | PG

-#10 Jay Murphy | Senior | PG/SG

-#20 Gabe Schmitt | Junior | SG

-#22 Isiah Knight | Junior | PG/SG

Trinity Overview

Trinity’s bench can be summarized by one word: dangerous.  There are handful of guys at one or two positions, but there is firepower beginning the game on the pine for Trinity, and that does not bode well for St. X.

Trinity’s second unit starts with D’Angelo West.  The lefty-swingman is that “heat-check” guy who can completely change games by himself, much like Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers and J.R. Smith for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

West loves to drive and finish inside, but he is a more-than capable outside shooter as well.  He is a complete package on offense who averaged over 20 points per game last season playing in Mississippi.  St. X needs to keep an eye out for number 1 in green and white when he enters the game.  You could make a sound argument that Trinity’s best offensive player comes off the bench.

Senior Shamrock guard Jay Murphy is another lights-out shooter who can affect games with his distributing ability.  Trinity’s offense often looks more smooth and fluid when Murphy checks in.

Murphy is another player who values his time on the court, evidenced by his demeanor.

“Coming off the bench is never seen generally seen as a good thing, but with the quality of players we have have, it’s remarkable I even get to play the minutes I do,” Murphy explained.  “For me, being a part of this team and having a chance to help us win a state title is worth it.”

Again, a player who will be playing in college puts the team in front of himself.  It doesn’t always seem like chemistry is a big thing with Trinity on the court, but when you talk to the guys, you realize why they are so good: They recognize their roles and don’t attempt to change them.

St. X also can’t forget about Gabe Schmitt.  With all the senior-laden talent on this Shamrock team, this junior doesn’t get noticed a lot.  But Schmitt can flat-out score, and if he is ignored, he could very well contribute a performance off the bench that dooms the Tigers.

Trinity has a lot of talent, so some of it gets pushed to the bench.  Unfortunately for St. X, they won’t be guarding anyone of substantially less talent when the Shamrock subs come in, and that could spell trouble for the Tigers.

St. X vs. Trinity – Positional Breakdowns: Center

If Lucas Miller can provide any offense in addition to his defense, it will be a net win for the Tigers. | Photo by Kody Nalley

If Lucas Miller can provide any offense in addition to his defense, it will be a net win for the Tigers. | Photo by Kody Nalley

It’s pretty straight forward when it comes to the center matchup in this game.  All eyes will be on the center in green and white, but the center in green and gold has an opportunity to put his own stamp on the game by bottling up the center in green and white.  This will probably be the most fun and entertaining matchup to watch, so let’s get into the details.

St. Xavier Depth Chart

– #31 Lucas Miller | 6’3″ | 197 lbs. | C/PF | Senior

-#24 Daniel Ryan | 6’5″ | 215 lbs. | C | Junior

 

St. Xavier Overview

Lucas Miller isn’t a true center by any means, but because he draws the unenviable task of checking Trinity’s Raymond Spalding on defense, we are putting him here.

Guarding a skilled 6’10” guy when you are 6’3″ is just inherently difficult.  But Miller isn’t afraid of the task at hand.  If he plays smart and does the little things right, he has a chance at neutralizing Spalding.

Regardless of the outcome of the game, this is going to be a long and tough night for Miller on the defensive end.  He will be jostling for position all night with Spalding trying to front him in the post and boxing him out when a shot goes up.  It may influence his offensive game.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miller frequently spacing out on offense to save his energy for defense during the game.  I don’t blame him.

Here’s a fact, though: Limiting Spalding will be way more important than producing on the offensive end.  Miller knows he has offensive weapons capable of picking up his slack, so the only thing that should be in his mind is big number 35 in the green and white.

We could see Daniel Ryan have an impact on the game if Miller gets in foul trouble, which has happened a few times this season.  He has a much bigger frame than Miller, but Ryan is more susceptible to being beat by Spalding’s athleticism and quickness.  Either way, Ryan is a fundamental player who does everything right and makes very few mistakes.  His size might come in handy tonight.

Whoever is on the floor for St. X at the center position, there is one mission: disrupt Spalding.  As you will see further down in this article, Spalding is the “You can’t stop him; you can only hope to contain him” type of player, and if St. X wants to win this game, having a body hounding Spalding at all times is crucial.

If you haven’t realized it yet, I will sum it up for you: Tonight, this position is all about defense, defense, and more defense.

 

Raymond Spalding (35) plays above the rim like no other player in Kentucky. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Raymond Spalding (35) plays above the rim like no other player in Kentucky. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

 

Trinity Depth Chart

– #35 Raymond Spalding | C | Senior

– #33 Christian Terry | C | Junior

 

Trinity Overview

You don’t need to look very far when it comes to the Rocks’ center position.  Trinity starts and ends with Raymond Spalding.  He is the offensive and defensive anchor.  He is the 52nd best player in the nation, according to ESPN.  He is the “Rock” of the Rocks.

It starts defensively with him.  I’ve never seen a better shot-blocker in person in my life.  Not only does use his elite athleticism, Spalding has amazing instincts.  A pump-fake isn’t going to fool him; he knows that guards will try to attack his body in attempt to get foul calls, so he lets the guard come to him first, and then he sends the shot into the third row.

This kid is just unbelievable on the defensive end.  Plenty of NBA big men lack the defensive skills Spalding has.  It can’t be understated; Spalding is a defensive monster.

Like many athletic-freak big men, Spalding’s offensive game is much less threatening.  He has a few post moves, but they all going to the left with his right hand.  He doesn’t want to go left at all.  He isn’t and elite free-throw shooter either, so St. X would be smart to put him at the line instead of allowing an easy two.

Spalding means so much to Trinity that if he has to miss significant time due to foul trouble, the Rocks are in trouble, even with all the other talent they have.  Junior Christian Terry doesn’t come close to providing what Spalding does for this team.  There’s a huge drop-off after Spalding.

But again, Spalding is a superstar.  He single-handedly wins games.  And he doesn’t force things, something vital to a young player like himself.

“In games, I try not to focus on one area of a game,” Spalding told me.  “I just let whatever comes to me happen.  I don’t plan on doing anything besides playing hard and getting to the foul line.  I’ve been in the gym working a lot, so that’s the plan.”

If he is confident going to the free-throw line, St. X has to be worried.  Trinity is a huge favorite, and making Spalding ineffective is about the only avenue the Tigers have to a victory.

The bottom line: If Spalding even has an okay game, much less a good game, the final result might not be pretty for St. X.

 

St. X vs. Trinity – Positional Breakdowns: Forwards

Will Olsen will need to have a solid performance if St. X wants to win. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Will Olsen will need to have a solid performance if St. X wants to win. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

The forward position is where a big disparity begins to set in between the Rocks and the Tigers.  The forwards for both teams are very skilled, but in different ways.  While Trinity has a clear physical advantage, St. X will be sneaky in how they use this position tonight.  It will be interesting to see how this matchup plays out on the court.

St. Xavier Depth Chart

– #32 Will Olsen | 6’2″ | 191 lbs. | Junior | SF

– #35 C.J. Shanklin | 6’3″ | 175 lbs. | Senior | SF/PF

– #22 Billy Basham | 6’1″ | 185 lbs. | Junior | SF/PF

– #15 Nick Kitchen | 6’2″ | 180 lbs. | Senior | SF

 

St. Xavier Overview

The Tigers feature some wiley, heady players that man the forward spots.  Olsen and Shanklin start, and they provide a nice inside-outside blend.  Olsen is a perimeter player who loves to nestle himself in along the baseline and wings in positions that make opposing defenses uncomfortable.  His three-point shooting has been streaky this year, but he will take and make any unguarded outside shot.

Shanklin is an especially interesting piece in St. X’s puzzle.  He is a natural point guard with NBA size, but due to the Tigers’ extreme lack of size, Shanklin has shifted to playing almost exclusively at small forward and power forward.  Shanklin has never been a sharpshooter, but his outside has improved considerably this season, and it has gotten to the point where he should be respected out there.  This step was huge for his game, because his strength is much like Trinity’s similarly-sized guard Michael Stafford: penetrating.  Shanklin loves getting into the teeth of a defense and then making a decision on whether to pass or shoot.  He puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses with his wide array of flashy dribble moves.  Initially, Shanklin’s ball handling was being taken advantage of because of the position he plays.  But as he has grown more comfortable with his role, he has started to get out on the break more frequently.  A huge advantage for St. X is Shanklin being the team’s leading rebounder (6.4 rpg), because he has become a natural at rebounding and going the length of the court on his own for buckets.  Any easy baskets Shanklin can get by pushing after his own rebound will be huge in this game.

Billy Basham and Nick Kitchen come off the bench to bring smart, high-energy play that is capable of flipping the complexion of the game.

Shanklin says that defense and rebounding are his chief duties tonight; with the bodies he is going up against, it is no surprise he is focusing his energy inside.  If Olson can get going from deep, Shanklin’s toughness inside may be the deciding factor in the game.

Olson said it best: “We are going to have to battle,” he explained.  “We are going to have to go after it on the backboards and have to have all five guys boxing out on every possession.”

 

If St. X isn't careful, Jax Levitch could blow the game wide open with his shooting ability. | Photo by Jaocb Hayslip

If St. X isn’t careful, Jax Levitch could blow the game wide-open with his shooting ability. | Photo by Jaocb Hayslip

 

Trinity Depth Chart

– #23 Christian Thieneman | SF/PF | Senior

– #4 Jax Levitch | SF/PF | Senior

– #14 David Burton | SF | Sophomore

 

Trinity Overview

The Rocks aren’t particularly deep at this position, but they have a couple of special players here.  Christian Thieneman is committed to Marshall University, and Jax Levitch has several D1 offers.  There is a reason these guys will be heading to big-time colleges next season: they make plays.

Thieneman will be a handful because of his versatility.  He can bang inside with the bigs and rebound, and he is equally as lethal outside, where he sports an impressive three-point stroke.  He is ultra-important in Trinity’s offensive scheme because he can fill multiple holes left from foul trouble or injuries at any time.

When I asked him if Raymond Spalding getting in foul trouble would change their approach, he responded predictably.

“Yes it could,” Thieneman said.  “I could play inside a little bit or play a five-out motion.”

Levitch, summarized in one word: sniper.  You simply cannot give this guy any look at the basket from three-point range.  He sunk big trey balls in the state tournament last season, and he told me he is more than comfortable taking and making shots on a big stage.  Something to watch out for will be Levitch’s defense.  It’s an aspect of his game he said he needs to work on, and if he doesn’t come out focused, he could be an attack point for St. X.

While all the eyes are always on Spalding, Thieneman could be the difference in this game.  All you have to hear is him describing his role.

“[My role is] just to be the toughest kid on the team and lead the team to victories.”

When a player of his caliber says something like that, he should be feared.

St. X vs. Trinity – Positional Breakdowns: Guards

Connor McKim will have a significant influence on this rivalry game. | Photo by Jaocb Hayslip

Connor McKim will have a significant influence on this rivalry game. | Photo by Jaocb Hayslip

Perhaps the most important figure on the basketball court is the point guard. He is the orchestrator, the quarterback of the offense and makes the game pulsate. His backcourt running mate, the shooting guard, can provide a very relieving source of scoring via quick shooting or movement without the ball to help the flow of the game in a major way. Well, we have some great guards in this big time rivalry game Friday night at Broadbent Arena, and none of them will shy away from the big stage. It is almost guaranteed that these well-defined roles of point guard and shooting guard will be swapped for roles that entail just flat-out competing.

 St. Xavier Depth Chart

– #5 Connor McKim- 6’2″ |162 lbs.| Junior

– #21 Josh Rudy- 6’1″|185 lbs.| Senior

– #11 Ashanti Burgess- 6’1″|175 lbs.| Senior

– #4 Connor Knight- 6’0″| 171 lbs.| Junior

St. Xavier Overview

This Tiger backcourt is as exciting as it has been in years past and is headlined by some exciting juniors and savvy veterans. Senior combo guard Josh Rudy is a seasoned three year bench player who has finally had his chance to take control of the offense this year. Known for driving the lane and finding his teammates, Rudy can take over a game without the crowd even noticing because he never wants the spotlight. By creating off the dribble and seeing the court well at all times, he knows where to find the open man and set up the Tigers for the best shot available. Points are a secondary concern for Rudy; his game is predicated on smart decisions and good passing.

Connor McKim, on the other hand, is a scoring combo guard. While he is a truer point guard, McKim will look for his shot when it’s available or when he’s hot. His quickness is such a big part of his game as it contributes to his abilities to slash and drive the lane to find a floater for himself or to drop it off down low to big men or scoring threat Lucas Miller. McKim’s ball handling skills are sharp and clean, allowing him to play comfortably and shiftily get to the rack.

Senior Ashanti Burgess is a pure shooting guard who won’t pass up an open shot and has a smooth stroke. When he’s on, he’s on. Burgess went for a season-high 25 points against Paul Laurence Dunbar on December 18th in a 97-84 Tigers win. Burgess has a tendency to get into foul trouble when his game is not coming to him, but he can put good pressure as an on-ball defender. Rudy and McKim are no slouches on the defensive end either, as they both average over one steal per game and have come up with 43 so far this season. Oh, and one other thing: these guys don’t turn the ball over often. All three of them have positive assist/turnover ratios. This unit is hard to crack.

 

Senior Shamrock Michael Stafford anchors Trinity's guards. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Senior Shamrock Michael Stafford anchors Trinity’s guards. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

 

 

Trinity Depth Chart

– #13 Daniel Ramser | Senior

– #1 D’Angelo West | Senior

– #30 Michael Stafford | Senior

– #10 Jay Murphy | Senior

 

Trinity Overview

The Shamrocks have an excellent backcourt themselves to counter St. X’s attacking group. It starts with senior combo guard Michael Stafford, who is stronger suited as a point guard because of his great ball handling skills and knack for distributing the basketball to the right teammates. What he lacks in shooting he makes up for in his penetrating skills and getting in the lane to the right whenever he can. Stafford can be stopped if the Tigers can force him left and attack him on the other end of the court.

Daniel Ramser helps complete Stafford’s game to a degree with his elite shooting and quickness. When combined with his big frame, Ramser’s quickness creates deceptive athleticism and allows him to score at a high clip while also being a strong defender.

Senior D’Angelo West is a lefty combo guard who would rather get to the cup than shoot, but he can knock down an open perimeter shot if need be. Like Stafford, West doesn’t like to switch to his off hand and is prone to gambling for steals which can leave him out of position defensively. West is a nice player and will be a big contributor in presenting a challenge to the St. X backcourt.

Trinity’s backcourt understands that this rivalry game is not one to overlook and knows that the St. X backcourt won’t lay down for them.

“We will need to play great on ball defense because [Burgess and C.J. Shanklin] are good players and are going to make plays,”Ramser said. “The rest of our defense will have to be on their toes”.

Trinity has elite height in every position on the court, giving the Shamrocks a clear cut advantage over St. X which has average height at best. But that obviously doesn’t mean anything to the Tigers, as they have mowed through some towering opponents thus far, most recently, a talented and lengthy DeSales team Monday night. Keep your eye on this battle of the backcourts Friday night, because each on is going to have to grind on both ends of the floor in order to come out ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiger Basketball Season Stats on MaxPreps

Lucas Miller is leading the Tigers in scoring thus far, averaging 11.4 points per game. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Lucas Miller is leading the Tigers in scoring thus far, averaging 11.4 points per game. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Want to get more informed about what you will see on Friday night at Broadbent Arena? Then head on over to MaxPreps and check out the newly-updated season statistics for Saint Xavier Basketball.  You can see season averages for each player and check box scores from any game St. X has played this season.

You can check it out here, Tiger Nation, but I will give you some quick hitters now.

Leading Scorer: Lucas Miller (11.4 points per game)

Leading Rebounder: C.J. Shanklin (6.4 rebounds per game)

Leading Passer: Josh Rudy (3.2 assists per game)

You can continue to check MaxPreps throughout the season, as stats will be updated after each game the Tigers play.

Remember that time we rushed the court? That was cool.

Tigers Win! | Photo by Tim Porco

Tigers Win! | Photo by Tim Porco

“It was about time! Ohhhh!! Let’s play something else!”

We’re coming back for more and we can’t storm Freedom Hall again, so Broadbent Arena is going to have to work.