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Trexler reaches 1000 points in Knight win

BY Scott Hunt - shunt@chronicle-tribune.com

FAIRMOUNT--It was a case of what is and what could be Thursday night when Madison-Grant hosted Southwood for a varsity boys’ basketball game.

The present part of that statement, the Class A No. 5 Knights, look primed and ready to have a run at the a state title when the tournament begins at the end of February.

Southwood, with four seniors and a junior in its starting lineup who have played hundreds of games together since their elementary school years, wasted little time in grabbing an early lead, running away and hiding before finishing with a 90-53 win over the Argylls.

What could be?

That’s M-G, with its talented group of freshman, three of whom that started, along with juniors Wyatt Rudy and Dillon Sneed. The Argylls need look no further than the Knights to see what their potential for future success can be.

But in the present, the young Argylls were forced to endure another night of growing pains against the seasoned and talented Knights.

“That’s why they’re called growing pains,” said M-G coach Brian Trout, emphasizing the word pains. “Because it’s no fun.”

Southwood jumped out to a 10-1 lead en route to taking a 21-10 lead after the first quarter. Senior guards Carson Blair and Peyton Trexler each scored six points and the Knights held the Argylls to just 3 of 10 shooting from the floor.

Any drama in the outcome was eliminated quickly in the second quarter.

Southwood scored 14-straight points in just over three minutes off the clock to move in front 35-10. The Knights put together one of the most efficient offensive quarters of the season, making 15 of 19 shots from the floor, pouring in 34 points in the eight minutes to extend to a 55-19 halftime lead.

It was junior Dallas Holmes that did a lot of damage for Southwood in the second. After going scoreless in the opening quarter, Holmes connected on 7-of-8 from the floor and his only free throw to score 15 of his game-high 22 points as the Knights raced away to the big halftime advantage.

“I thought defensively we were just slow tonight,” Trout said. “I’m not saying we were going to win the game or anything, I just thought we were slow defensively. We started in a zone and tried to go man and they just blew by us and our help side wasn’t good so we went back to a zone. We didn’t move very well.”

Meanwhile, Southwood worked like a well-oiled machine, making 39 of 67 shots on the offensive end and coming up with 20 steals and 13 blocked shots defensively.

There was drama in the second quarter for the Knights, as Trexler became the second player in the Southwood’s class of 2018 to reach the 1,000 point milestone. Trexler drained a 3-pointer from the left corner with 27 seconds to play in the first half to rise above the esteemed plateau. He scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half.

“Peyton has not been always been a three-point shooter,” said Southwood coach John Burrus. “He’s worked so hard to become a better shooter it was fitting for him to get his 1,000th point on a three.”

Even more impressive about Southwood’s senior class, Blair became the school’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season, and senior Matt Nose, who finished with 13 points Thursday, stands just 24 points from becoming the third member of the team to gain more than 1,000.

“For those guys to get 1,000, when you’re playing with a guy that’s scored that much says a lot about him and how much helped distribute the ball,” Burrus said referencing Blair, who chipped in 10 points.

“Dallas Holmes too (will go over 1,000 next season), with those four guys on the floor, it shows the teamwork and cohesiveness that these guys have. As a fan it’s really fun to watch those guys.”

With the game well in hand, Burrus elected to rest his starters late in the fourth quarter and the Argylls freshman took center stage for the final eight minutes. Madison-Grant outscored the Knights 26-14 over the final eight minutes and gave fans a glimpse of what the future may look like for the Argylls.

“We won the fourth quarter against their kids that are coming back next year,” Trout said. “You’ve got to look down the road, it’s a big picture. You look at the score as a fan and you think man that was really ugly and bad, you don’t see the light at the end of that tunnel.”

“We don’t have to replace any pieces next year and a lot of the teams we are playing have to replace a lot,” he added. “The thing we’ve got to learn from these games is, we look at Southwood, and think that’s where we want to be. That’s the kind of team we want to be.”

The Argylls got 30 of their 53 points from the freshman. Kaiden Howell led the Argylls with 12 points, Justin Moore added eight, Jackson Manwell scored five, Lance Wilson had three and Grant Brown had two.

The Knights contained M-G’s leading scorer, junior Wyatt Rudy, holding him to seven points. But Rudy pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

“We had some kids like that. We had Matt Nose, Blair and Trexler as freshmen and we had to bring them along too,” Burrus said. “Fortunately for us, those kids had some other kids to go with them. These kids are trying to do it with Rudy and not a lot of older kids. Coach Trout is doing a great job with them.”

Trout’s been pleased with the Argylls effort and hopes his young players are taking away the lessons that come with playing against upperclassmen.

“The attitude has been great,” Trout said of his team. “They’re still working hard every day and getting after it. You worry about (confidence) and that’s why we try to look at every positive thing we can look at, whether its something little or something big.

“We put everything together Saturday (in a win at Taylor) and it was fun to watch,” he added. “The thing I keep telling them is you look at the Oak Hills, the Lapels, the Franktons and Southwoods and that’s where you want to get. You look when you’re playing them and see what are they doing what we’re not doing and ask how do we get there.”