NEW PARIS — National Trail boys basketball coach Mike Harrison said last week’s three-game stretch may have been the toughest of his coaching career.
The Blazers went on the road to face two league champions and a team with one of the best players in the area.
Two of the games went into overtime and the other was a close game — but all were loses for Trail.
The Blazers opened the week with a triple-overtime loss at Middletown Madison, 75-72, on Tuesday, Feb. 12. On Friday, Trail dropped a 65-60 loss at Franklin-Monroe and closed out the week with a 67-64 setback at Brookville on Saturday.
Madison won the Buckeye Division of the Southwestern Buckeye League and Brookville won the Southwestern Division.
“Likely the toughest 5-day stretch of games I’ve had in my career,” Harrison said. “On the road at two of best teams in the area playing in the emotion of their final home games sandwiched around a road game against a single player who is a 1,900 point scorer playing in his final home game. Disappointed like everyone else we couldn’t come away with some wins but never prouder of how hard the kids fought. Two of the nights we played very well under tough circumstances and just came up short. Tough lesson to learn but at the end of the day we had a very nice regular season and need to turn our attention toward tournament.”
Against Madison, the game was tied at 53, 57, and 66 before the Mohawks pulled away for the win.
Sophomore Cameron Harrison led Trail with 31, Zach Woodall had 21, and Travis Hunt 14. Levi McMonigle 23 and Grant Whisman 19 for Madison.
“One of best games I’ve been associated with. Unfortunate we came out on short end,” Coach Harrison said.
On Friday, the Blazers struggled but kept the game close.
“We seemed to have trouble bouncing back from earlier game,” Coach Harrison said. “Just seemed a little out of sorts most of night. Fought hard to get back in game but could never push ahead and down the stretch.”
Coach Harrison said the Jets Ethan Conley, who finished with 33, hit tough shot after tough shot to keep the Blazers in check.
Cameron Harrison had 21, Woodall 10, and Hunter Michael and Evynn short 9 each for the Blazers.
Against Brookville, the Blazers trailed most of the game, but managed the grab the lead early in the fourth.
Cameron Harrison had 21 (all in second half and overtime), Travis Hunt 12, and Hunter Michael 11 for Trail. Wade Turner led Brookville with 29, 20 coming in fourth quarter and OT.
Trail (17-5, 9-3 CCC) is scheduled to play Arcanum in the Division III sectional on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be played at Vandalia-Butler High School.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH