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No. 2-Ranked Rocks Knock Off St. Xavier, Prepare for LIT

The+Rocks+defeated+St.+Xavier+46-43+on+Jan.+4.
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No. 2-Ranked Rocks Knock Off St. Xavier, Prepare for LIT

The Rocks defeated St. Xavier 46-43 on Jan. 4.

The Rocks defeated St. Xavier 46-43 on Jan. 4.

photo by Matt Gadd

The Rocks defeated St. Xavier 46-43 on Jan. 4.

photo by Matt Gadd

photo by Matt Gadd

The Rocks defeated St. Xavier 46-43 on Jan. 4.

Dominick DelSignore, Staff Reporter

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Three dribbles. David Johnson pulls up from deep, and the ball flows through the bottom of the net.

The season-opening onslaught against Bullitt East High School showed a confident Rocks team beating the Chargers 75-55.  Johnson and Stan Turnier led the way with 19 points each.

Many more baskets have come from Johnson and four other senior starters for the Trinity basketball Shamrocks. The 10-5 Rocks, ranked second in the state, prepare for the Louisville Invitational Tournament and await the return of Johnson, who suffered a knee injury.

After a 30-4 record and a region championship, the Rocks lost two top scorers from last season. Trinity basketball looks a little different with all seniors starting this year.

Early in the season, 18-year head coach Mike Szabo said, “This year’s team will be different from last year’s in that the players aren’t as big but much quicker. We are going to need more contribution from our starters other than DJ.”

Johnson, who recently signed to play for the University of Louisville Cardinals, looks like he put on some muscle this off-season, weighing in this year at 170 pounds compared to last year’s 160. Szabo said, “DJ worked out some in Las Vegas.”

Johnson and Turnier, along with Jamil Hardaway, Kolton Rice and Kamari Kenemore, lead a team that started the season with an eight-game winning streak before losses that ranged from two to six points, falling by three to top-ranked Scott County. The team’s last victory took place Jan. 4 at Bellarmine, where the Rocks knocked off St. Xavier 46-43.

Trinity’s players are the real deal but look to a large cheering section to get by some potentially tough opponents this season, among them Fern Creek, Scott County, Male, Lexington Catholic, Bullitt East and Henry Clay.

Szabo and his staff have always emphasized defense. Hardaway’s six-and-a-half-foot wingspan and 155-pound body are a huge roadblock in the paint.  His hard work will contribute to Trinity’s success the rest of the season.  The Shamrocks will continue to need Hardaway to be a strong presence near the rim.

The Rocks, favorites to again win the Seventh Region title, take on Waggener at home on Jan. 11.

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