Spartans Come up Short Against Cov Cath

Posted on: January 10, 2020
Saturday’s interstate battle between Turpin and the Covington Catholic Colonels lived up to the pregame hype featuring two of the best teams in the region.  Unfortunately the Spartans suffered their first defeat of the season, going down 44-40.  Ethan Zinn led the way for Turpin (9-1 overall, 5-0 ECC) with 12 points while Owen Spencer contributed 10 points and 8 rebounds.  
Turpin started the game strong on defense with Zinn laying out to deflect a Colonel pass on the game’s first possession.  The entire game mimicked the first quarter with Turpin shooting well from outside (43.5% from 3 point range), but Cov Cath getting easy buckets and drawing fouls in the paint.  From the floor, Cov Cath shot 47% on the game vs 34% for Turpin and went to the free throw line 15 times versus only 6 times for the home team.  Jackson Holt, Owen Spence and Zinn all drained 3 pointers in the first quarter, but after 1, the Spartans trailed 15-14.  
Turpin immediately regained the lead at the beginning of the second, with senior Josh Bell connecting down low, assisted by junior Dom Cantrella.  After a defensive stop, Zinn hit his 3rd trey of the night, giving Turpin a 4 point lead, 19-15.  The Spartan long range shooting continued strong through the quarter with senior Harry Tyszkiewicz connecting twice and the bog fella Spencer showing his range as well.  Despite an awful blocking foul call on the defensive end with 0.8 seconds remaining in the half that game the Colonels an extra trip to the charity stripe, Turpin led at halftime, 28-25.
Tight defense and timely shooting carried Turpin in the first half, but in the second half the gym turned ice cold for the Spartan sharpshooters.  Turpin shot 3-16 combined from the floor/3 point over the final 16 minutes.  To compound matters, the foul disparity really started to play a role.  The Spartans could not get to the free throw line until mid-way through the 4th quarter.  That’s somewhat amazing, considering the physicality of this matchup.  The third quarter ended in a tie at 33-33 for each squad.  Zinn opened the 4th with his 4th 3pointer of the contest, giving Turpin a 36-33 lead.  That would be the last field goal the Spartans would make it the game.  Spencer extended the lead to 5 with a pair of free throws on the next possession.  From that point on, only a pair of Josh Bell free throws kept Turpin in the game.  With 2 minuted remaining, the game was tied at 40.  The final 120 seconds were an all out defensive slugfest, but Cov Cath managed to get to the free throw line 3 times, converting 2 of their shots and pulling away for a 44-40 final score.
The Spartans return to league action on Tuesday following the long holiday break.  The upcoming week features road matches within the ECC at Kings of 1/7 and at Milford on 1/10.  Both contests tip off at 7:30 PM.  
Notable Performers:
Scoring: Zinn-12, Spencer-10, Holt-8, Tyszkiewicz-6, Bell-4
Rebounds: Sepncer-8, Bell-6, Lee-2, Holt-1, Mussio-1, Tyszkiewicz-1, Zinn-1
Other: Cantrella-7 assists, Bell-1 block