MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Fresh off of a road win over one of the state’s top teams on Thursday, Class A defending state champion Notre Dame added another significant road win on Friday, edging Trinity 51-49.
Notre Dame (13-5) the night before handed title contender Wheeling Central its first in-state loss. Trinity (12-5), meanwhile, had been on a roll itself heading into Friday’s contest against the Irish, handing Valley (Fayette) its first loss of the season earlier in the week.
The Irish this week are No. 6 among Class A teams in the MetroNews Power Index with Trinity No. 8.
“(Thursday) night (against Wheeling Central) was a 10-round heavyweight fight,” said Notre Dame coach Jarrod West. “We needed everything to win that game and it was a great win.
“But to come in here (Friday), I knew it would be a dogfight,” he continued. “Trinity reminds me a lot of how our program used to be. They’re looking for that signature win – and they’re close. For our kids to gut it out, we made just enough plays to get out of here with a win.”
Trinity actually set the tone early, jumping out to an 18-10 first quarter lead. The momentum shifted, however, in the second quarter as the Irish emerged to take a 30-27 lead into the break.
A 3 from Briston Bennett closed Trinity’s deficit to 51-49 with 1:55 to go in what ultimately would be the game’s final points.
Notre Dame missed the front end of back-to-back one-and-one opportunities in the final minute, but the Irish came up with consecutive stops on the other end defensively to secure the win.
“We’ve done a lot better job in the last week or two defensively,” West said. “We were able to hold them tonight without a bucket in their last three or four possessions.
“To win a state championship, nine times out of 10, it’s going to come down to one or two half-court possessions at the end – and whichever team executes is going to be the team that wins in the end,” he continued. “We were able to squeak out of here with a win and we needed it bad.”
Andrew Rogers led Notre Dame overall with 15 points, hitting five 3s, while Gabe Zummo added 10 points.
Daniel Woods led Trinity with 17 points in the loss and Joel Robertson scored 12 points.