He might not have made the flashy plays or had the big scoring night, but Tristan Finch had his fingerprints all over Augusta’s win Friday night.
He made steals and deflected passes. He saved a couple of loose balls from going out of bounds by catching and passing in mid-air. He even had five assists and helped the Orioles transition game get going.
“I helped on backside, We’re always outsized, so help on the backside and keep them from penetrating and it seemed to work,” Finch said. “It’s our best offense when our transition gets us going.”
All of that helped add up to a 64-44 victory against Circle on Homecoming night Friday.
Finch scored 11 points, all in the second half after two early fouls forced him to miss most of the second quarter. He made some great plays dropping down low with helpside defense, particularly against Circle’s top big man, Stewart Dennison, who was held to just eight points.
“He was great,” coach David Stephenson said of Finch. “He was definitely the spark that got us going. He deflected every ball. I don’t know how many steals he got, assists. He was great passing it in fast break. He was really good all night.”
The Orioles wasted no time taking control of the game. They had four steals in the first three minutes that led to scores as Augusta jumped out to a 7-2 lead.
“I always tell the guys that defensive rebounds with this teams equals good offense every time," Stephenson said. "And then obviously, steals do that for everybody.”
Stephenson said he felt Circle’s defense focused on not giving Oriole sharpshooter Kesten Trebbe good looks from the perimeter, but Trebbe still found a way to score. He even made a couple of stepback 3-pointers, still hit four threes in all and finished with a team-high 20 points. Trebbe hit the first three baskets in the second quarter to give Augusta a 22-11 lead, and it never looked back.
Even though a couple of Augusta’s top scorers had an off night, several other Orioles stepped up. The team had balanced scoring—six different Orioles scored on their first eight baskets.
Augusta had 16 assists on the night and forced 20 turnovers. Augusta hit four 3-pointers for all 12 of its second-chance points.
Brandon Smith had eight points. Chase Winter scored seven. Connor Hurst had six. Kyler Steinkamp added five. Kolton Schenker had three. Caleb Laubhan and Caleb Dunn both scored two points apiece. Dunn hit a nice jumper from the elbow while Laubhan scored on a putback.
Augusta will travel to take on Andale Tuesday, Feb. 12.