A Central Cougars team that prides itself on defense ran into a one-man wrecking ball Friday night in the Class 2A state tournament semifinals.
St. Joseph-Ogden junior guard Brandon Trimble piled up a staggering 44 points and added 12 rebounds in a 60-48 victory that sent the Spartans flying into the 2A state title game.
Trimble was 14-of-23 from the floor, hit three of six 3-point tries and sank 13 of 14 free throws. His monster night included a ridiculous 18-point third quarter and 29-point second half as he accounted for the majority of his team’s offense.
“He’s a great player, that’s why he’s a first team all-stater,” said Central coach Jeremy Shubert, whose 30-5 team will play Hales Franciscan (20-13) for third place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. “On top of it he gets 12 rebounds. We get outrebounded by 12 and that can’t happen.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Central led 31-23 late in the first half and 33-27 at halftime, but couldn’t withstand the avalanche of Trimble scoring. It was his third game of 41 or more points this season.
“I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my teammates and I’m glad they got me the ball,” Trimble said. “I’m just happy to be playing in a state championship. I just wanted to win.
He’s a great player, that’s why he’s a first team all-stater.
Central coach Jeremy Shubert on Brandon Trimble
“We all wanted to win and I was on fire, obviously. My teammates kept giving me the ball and they were going in.”
St. Joe-Ogden coach Brian Brooks wasn’t exactly shocked by the high point total.
“I don’t know if I’d say I was surprised,” Brooks said. “I get the pleasure of watching him six days a week and he’s tough to keep the ball away from. He’s very athletic, he understands how to get open with cuts and our guys understand how to get him open.
“He’s a tough kid to guard. He really moves well without the ball.”
Central senior Logan Kohrmann scored 15 of his team-high 22 points in the first half and Mitchel Rule came off the bench to hit seven of 12 shots and score 15 points.
Trimble’s 44 points were a Class 2A staet tournament record and among the highest in state tournament history. Other memorable scoring performances include the 56 points scored by Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson against Whitney Young in the 2014 4A semifinals and 51 by Spring Valley Hall’s Shawn Jeppson in the 1997 Class A state title game.
We all wanted to win and I was on fire, obviously. My teammates kept giving me the ball and they were going in.
St. Joseph-Ogden’s Brandon Trimble
A year ago, Morgan park guard Marcus LoVett went off for 45 points against Althoff in a 3A semifinal loss to the Crusaders.
No one from Central, including the coaching staff, could recall allowing an opponent to score 44 points.
“I don’t know, the kid just went off,” Kohrmann said. “He was hard to stop. His percentage was high and getting to the rim helped him, too.”
Central was trailing 50-46 with 4:16 remaining when Kohrmann broke free for a layup and felt he had drawn a foul on Trimble. There was no call and the Central coaches and fans shouted in protest.
“Logan had the ball driving to the hole and didn’t get the shot down,” Shubert said. “We thought there was a lot of contact there, so right there was a big play where we could have got the game to two points.”
Instead, the Spartans ran away at the end, outscoring Central 33-15 in the second half.
St. Joseph-Ogden hit 24 of its 30 free-throw attempts while Central shot only two three free throws, making two.
After watching Trimble shred their defense for 11 points in the first quarter, the Cougars did a much better job of controlling him in the second.
Central held the Spartans without a field goal until Trimble scored at the 4:11 mark, flying off on a 15-5 run to build a 31-23 lead.
Kohrmann had three 3-pointers among his 15 points in the first half, twice shedding a defender with a quick stop-and-pop move before draining fadeaway jumpers. Rule also had a big first half for Central with nine points while Chase Schneider drained a momentum-building 3-pointer for the Cougars at the end of the first quarter.
Things were looking good for Central at halftime, but the Spartans owned most of the second half thanks to Trimble.
“They executed, they made a lot of shots,” Shubert said. “They shot 30 free throws to our three and we’ve got to get to the line more, that was a big part of the game.”
Central was outscored 33-15 in the second half while hitting only 6-of-22 shots during that span (27.3 percent).
“That’s got to be better to try to get to a state championship game,” Shubert said.