WHEELING - With senior Akil Blount flanked by two sophomore and a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup for the debuting Linsly boys' basketball team, the Cadets were simply no match for Morgantown Trinity Christian (2-0) on Saturday afternoon at Stifel Field House.
Cody Triplett, a 6-foot-6 returning standout from last season's state tournament club, poured in 27 points to lead three double-digit scorers as the Warriors exploded in front 13-0 during the first four minutes on the way to a 67-39 victory.
Triplett, who averaged double-digit points and rebounds a season ago, teamed with 6-3 leaper Seth Earl in helping Trinity outrebound the Cadets 47-33. Both collected double-doubles as Earl snagged 11 rebounds to go with his 13 points. Triplett pulled down 10 missed shots, several of which coming on the offensive end.
''These kids like each other and are willing to work hard,'' Trinity coach Herman Pierson stressed. ''Cody can do whatever he chooses to do but the nice thing about that is he knows he has other guys around him that can score. Earl played reserve ball last year worked like a dog over the summer doing a lot of weight-lifting and also working with his father in construction.
''I think we can be a lot better as we move along in our schedule. We have some other kids who can be double figure scorers as well. The (Anthony) Ghiardi kid is just now figuring out what he can do.''
Ghiardi tossed in 10 points, while Sam Randy came off the Warriors' bench and contributed nine.
Blount and highly promising sophomore Anthony Wallace provided most of the scoring for Linsly. Wallace had eight of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter while Blount finished with 12 points as he found himself having to battle for every shot against a speedy Trinity Christian defense that was determined to keep him away from the glass.
''Akil and Anthony are going to shoulder the load this year but we can't rely on just them every night,'' Linsly Coach James Wallace said. ''I've got to ind ways to get easy buckets for other people.
''I don't think it was necessarily our effort that hurt us. Our kids really came out and tried to play hard but they just don't understand yet what high school effort is necessary if we are going to win games.''
It took the Cadets 5 minutes, 13 seconds to get on the scoreboard at the outset, the first bucket coming from a smooth move inside by Wallace. His goal hardly slowed down the Warriors' red-hot start.
Bryant Western broke the scoring ice when he buried a jump shot off the glass. This was followed by Earl's conventional three-point play after he was delivered a good-looking entry pass from Triplett.
Then Triplett wrapped two trifectas from out of the corner around an Earl sky hook that put the Warriors' lead at 13-0 with 3:30 remaining in the opening quarter.
After notching six points in the first, Triplett came back to score eight more in the second, including a near-unbelievable underhand scoop for a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Racing down the court with time winding down on the clock, he let the ball go from just outside the arc and it bounced off the glass and into the net for the trey that provided Trinity with a 37-14 halftime advantage.
Earl and Triplett contributed six points each in the third quarter, extending the advantage to 53-22 heading into the final eight minutes.
''They are really good,'' Wallace said of Trinity. ''Big, strong, well-coached and several experienced guys who know what it's like to be in the running for a state championship.
''Everything starts at the top and I don't think I did a very good job of preparing our young team what to expect
''It is on my shoulders and their shoulders in practice this week to learn how to play at another level.''