Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
MINFORD — Trenton Zimmerman must not like stale cupcakes because, if he did, his 21st and 22nd points on Tuesday could’ve waited to fall another night.
Minford’s senior post entered the game with 978 career points. It took three and half quarters to do so, but late in the fourth, he added his name to the school’s record books — and was awarded fresh cupcakes for doing so.
“In a show of good teammates, I think our guys tried to force [Zimmerman] the ball a little bit,” Minford coach Josh Shoemaker said. “But our assistant coach asked him if he liked stale cupcakes. Trenton kind of looked at him and our coach said, ‘If you want to eat them tonight, you better get this thing over with.’ He started to relax a little bit. We’ll have a ceremony tonight. It’s always fun. I think this is the fourth player I’ve had to score 1,000 points. It’s fun to watch.”
Zimmerman’s 22 points not only led him to 1,000 but it led his Falcons to a 67-39 win over Northwest — a victory that allowed Minford (12-3, 8-3 SOC II) to bounce back from a loss this past weekend at Waverly.
“We came off a tough loss to Waverly and told our guys not to let one loss turn into two,” Shoemaker said, “I felt coming out tonight, we tried a couple of things defensively and they didn’t work. So we adjusted what we usually do and the kids did a good job with that.”
Tale of the tape
Out of the gates, Northwest (5-9, 2-8 SOC II) took a 6-3 lead, thanks to three straight buckets from Alex Baer. Tanner Bolin gave the Mohawks an 8-5 lead with 2:18 left in the first quarter but Minford’s Adam Crank tied the score with a 3-ball at the 2:03 mark.
Devin Parker then gave the Falcone their first lead of the night at 10-8 before scoring again to make it a 13-8 tally with 26.6 seconds to go. Northwest’s Connor Lintz answered with his first bucket of the night but that would be the last Mohawk field goal until late in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Minford ripped off a 15-0 run to seize a 28-10 advantage deep in the first half.
That effort was spearheaded by Parker and Crank, who both ended in double-digit scoring figures.
“We were really happy with Devin and [Adam] Crank because other teams are starting to sag off them,” Shoemaker said. “Myles [Montgomery] and Trenton are both averaging over 20 points per game. So when those two step up and hit shots, that leads to 30-point wins like tonight. It makes us better and it makes us harder to guard.”
After the Falcons took a 31-16 lead into the break, they expanded on their lead in the third.
Zimmerman and Montgomery began to heat up and Northwest simply didn’t have an answer. By the start of the fourth, Minford had a 55-29 advantage and shifted into cruise control.
Zimmerman’s 1,000th point came at the 4:23 mark in the fourth, giving Minford a 65-36 edge before the Falcons closed out a 28-point victory in league action.
“I just told him I love him and that I was proud of him,” Shoemaker said. “We’re really close. We’ve spent a lot of time together through basketball and it’s been a lot of work getting here. But he deserves this. I’m proud of him and the young man he is. He’s a good one.”
Zimmerman’s 22 points came alongside four rebounds and a trio of assists. Crank had 16 points, six boards and three dimes while Montgomery and Parker each added 10 points.
Bolin led Northwest with 15 points and eight rebounds while Lintz ended with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.
What’s on tap
Both teams are back in action on Friday night. Northwest travels to Oak Hill while the Falcons go to South Webster.
“We’re building a tournament resume right now. The conference title race is what it is. Waverly has a two-game lead,” Shoemaker said. “So it’s one game at a time to build a resume. If we overlook one team and drop one, it could kill our seeding. If we continue to have our role players step up, it’s going to make us more dangerous. But we’re not looking too deep right now. We’ve got a big weekend coming up. Two teams we can’t look past. One game at a time.”