ST. CLAIRSVILLE - It was almost too easy for Chaice Truex.
The Bishop Donahue big man, known as Chief, certainly was in charge during the Bishops' 77-53 victory against Trinity in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 1A Championship Game on Saturday at Ohio Eastern University.
Truex scored 24 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in the Bishops victory.
Photo by Dave Morrison
Bishop Donahue’s Lavonte Hampton (4) attempts a shot as Trinity’s Grant Culton (5) defends.
It was enough to make Trinity coach Jamal Womble have nightmares.
"I said it before the game, he is a monster," Womble said. "Our goal was to limit his touches and limit his effectiveness on the glass. Obviously, we didn't do either of those things."
Truex was a monster, making 9 of 20 shots from the floor, many of them putbacks of shots he missed. A lot of them were contested. He simply powered his way to the basket and was nearly unstoppable.
"I really have to give it to my teammates," Truex said. "They were boxing out. I was just snatching rebounds. Without those guys doing their thing, I wouldn't have been getting those rebounds, those shots."
To that point, even when Truex and emotional leader Jesse Padlow (both of whom encountered foul trouble along the way) on the bench, the Bishops not only maintained the lead, they built on it.
"It's a huge win for us, and depth has been a big factor for us this year," Bishop Donahue coach Tom Wise said. "We had a lot of guys come in and do some good things for us. I think our press really was the difference at that point."
It was, as the vaunted Bishop press - and key contributions from Lavonte Hampton (14 points and six rebounds) and Taylor Straughn (12 points) - helped make an 11-point lead 16 with Truex and Padlow on the bench.
"We didn't do a good job against their press," Womble said. "And we didn't shoot well from the foul line (9 of 23). That really hurt us. A lot of those were misses on the front end of the 1-and-1 when we were still within striking distance."
Straughn, a freshman was key in the third when he scored 10 of his 12 points.
"Because he is a freshman he is sometimes passive and defers to the older kids," Wise said. "We told him at the half, 'If you can score 27 points against Linsly (earlier in the season) then you can score against anyone.' What does he do? He comes out and hits his first shot (of the third)."
Bryce Jones was also key, scoring a majority of his 17 points on drives to the basket.
The Bishops put the game away in the fourth with a 16-2 run (after Trinity had cut the lead to 13 on a 3 by Roger Scott).
Truex had 13 of his rebounds on the offensive glass, and added two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Someone told me that Chief outrebounded Trinity by himself," said Wise.
Actually, he was three from that, but Bishop did outrebound Trinity 46-26.
"That's impressive," Wise continued. "In terms of rebounding, that was probably our best performance of the season."
Christian Hawkinberry led Trinity with 22 points and Christian Griffith added 11.