Triton took a varsity basketball sweep over visiting Wake Forest in a pair of competitive contests Friday night.
Triton continued to show progress in a 45-34 win over Wake Forest in the girls game.
“A little bit more composure and not rushing things on offense,” said Triton coach Wendy Simmons. “We only had 10 turnovers. That was our goal. Our goal every game is to keep it 10 or less, so they reached a goal. We’re making progress. Every game we’re making a little progress.”
Sophomore Anastasia McDonald had 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals to lead the Hawks (5-7).
“I felt like she played smart,” Simmons said. “She’s the point guard. She’s the leader out there. Every game I see more maturity from her.”
Senior Anaya Lockamy was also a strong performer for Triton with eight pints, 11 rebounds and four steals.
“Her and Anastasia are the two that always go out there,” Simmons said. “I just wish that everybody would do that. You can always rely on those two to always bring the fire out there on the court. It makes a difference when you have quick people that can make things happen.”
Kaila Cooney had seven points, including a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line, and three assists. Zoie Starling had six points and three assists. Hannah Jackson had six points. Jordan Miles had four points. Alexis Howard had two points and five rebounds.
Nia Perez and Emily Lewis had nine points apiece to lead the Cougars (2-7).
Wake opened the game on an 8-2 run before Triton scored six unanswered to tie the game at the end of the quarter.
Early in the second, Wake held a 12-10 lead when Triton took the lead for good with a 9-1 run.
Early in the fourth, a Lewis three-pointer cut Triton’s lead to 36-32, but Triton ended the game on a 9-2 run.
A controversial call in the closing seconds helped Wake Forest take the boys game to overtime, but Triton finished strong to win 62-57.
“Good, tough game,” said Triton coach T.J. Morrison. “Wake Forest is a solid program. Good athletes. Good coach. It was good to get a win. I’m glad we fought it and gutted it out. I thought we should have finished it off in regulation, but I’m glad that we could win it in that four-minute extra period.”
Triton is 2-1 in overtime games this season.
“We actually practice that a lot,” Morrison said. “That’s one of our sequences. We put four minutes on the clock and simulate overtime.”
Senior Derreon Burnett had a stellar performance to lead the Hawks (7-6), recording a double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds.
“I didn’t know Derreon had 27 until now (looking at the scorebook after the game),” Morrison said. “That was pretty solid. He was finishing and what I really love was guys were looking for him. I think they knew he was making buckets and in position and they were finding him. It takes him finishing, but it takes them looking for him, too.”
Fellow senior Kalil Hodges was also a big factor for Triton, with 16 points, three assists and three steals.
“He’s got good hands and handles the ball so well, too,” Morrison said. “I don’t really worry when the ball is in his hands. He’s not going to turn it over. He made some plays.”
Emari White had five points and four assists. Josiah Lett had five points and two blocks. Travion Sanders had four points. Colby Parker and Shaiheim Strickland had two points apiece. Myshon Smith had one point.
The free throw line was a key for the Hawks, as they made 18-of-26 (69.2 percent) of their shots at the line, led by Burnett’s 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) and Hodges’ 5-for-8 (62.5 percent).
“That is big,” Morrison said. “If you can make those, those are bonus points. Those are big.”
Zanje Lee had 22 points and Caleek Cobb had 16 points to pace the Cougars (5-6).
The game was closely contested throughout, with neither team holding a lead of more than five during regulation.
In the closing seconds of regulation, a Cobb three gave the Cougars a 51-50 lead before Burnett scored with 5.1 seconds left to put the Hawks in front. With two fouls to spare, Triton elected to purposefully foul to force the Cougars to use more time, but White was called for an intentional foul against Wake’s Demarcus Jones.
But Jones made just one of the ensuing free throws and the Cougars turned the ball over on the inbounds pass on the resulting possession, sending the game to overtime.
Burnett made an immediate impact in the extra frame, quickly scoring and drawing a foul against Wake’s Marquez Jones, his fifth. Burnett made the ensuing free throw to push the lead to three and start Triton on a 10-5 run to finish the game.
“A lot of times it takes plays like that to get them going,” Morrison said.
Triton is at Wake Forest on Tuesday night before opening Tri-County Six 3-A Conference play at home against Southern Lee on Friday night.