TROY — Twin Valley South did its best to shut down Cedarville’s Colby Cross and Trent Koning, in Thursday night’s Division IV sectional semifinal basketball game. And why not? The Cross & Koning scoring duo finished a respective 1-2 in the Ohio Heritage Conference this season in scoring.
Despite utilizing a Triangle and Two defense to stop the two, five other Indians picked up any scoring slack there may have been, and second-seeded Cedarville claimed a 53-40 win over the no. 11-seeded Panthers at Troy High School.
Indians coach Ryan Godlove had prepared his team for the Triangle and Two defense in practice leading up to Thursday’s contest, but thought he might need it against Franklin Monroe, a team Cedarville could face in the sectional final.
Franklin Monroe, the tournament’s no. 7 seed, was playing sixth seed Tri-County North in Thursday’s night contest. The winner will take on Cedarville at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, also in Troy. Franklin Monroe frequently plays the Triangle and Two.
“It’s something that we’ve been working on for the past two weeks. I was glad that it paid off tonight,” he said. “I thought we played well offensively, even with that. And I thought we got off a lot of good shots in the first half … just some of those weren’t falling for us. But then in that third quarter, they all started falling.
“That changed the game.”
The Indians (19-5) had a narrow 20-17 lead at the break, but a Koning 3-pointer and two Isaiah Ramey scores from the right side to start the third gave Cedarville a 27-17 lead barely two minutes into the second half.
Then in the fourth, the Indians converted four Twin Valley South misses at one end into four fast-break scores at the other — three by Cross; and one off a Cross pass to Koning — for a commanding 43-27 lead, still with 4:32 left to play.
“(TV South) was playing that Triangle and Two against me and Trent, and so other guys stepped up,” Cross said.
Koning exploded for 10 of his team-leading 13 points in the fourth quarter. Caleb McKinion finished with 10 points, Cross scored nine, Ramey added eight, while Payton Herron (five), Hunter Baldwin (two) and Hayden Hanson (six) combined for 13 points.
When Cedarville’s other scoring weapons started knocking down shots, TV South (4-19) had to get out of its Triangle and Two and go back to man-to-man coverage.
“Nobody can guard us in man, so when a team goes into man-to-man coverage, we know it’s over,” Cross said.
TV South’s Cole Peterson led all scorers with 18, and Tyler Wright finished with 14.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.