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DANVILLE, Ill. - The phrase "offense wins games, defense wins championships" is often said in sports, especially in basketball. The Triton College men's basketball team showed why during their National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II quarterfinal win over Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Thursday night.
The Trojans played half-court, man-to-man defense at a championship level, holding the Cobras to 18-of-54 shooting (33 percent) from the field and never trailed in their 66-48 victory at Danville Area Community College, earning a trip to the Final Four.
Triton (33-2) has now won an unprecedented 29 games in a row and will next take on Region IV rival, South Suburban College in the semifinals Friday at 8 p.m. in Danville. The Bulldogs (33-2) are winners of 19 straight contests. Their last loss came at the hands of the Trojans 91-55 on Jan. 3 in River Grove. South Suburban earned a date with Triton by defeating Schoolcraft College (MI) 79-76 on Thursday.
Against the Cobras, The Trojans quickly quieted the pro-Parkland crowd that made the short 35-mile trip to Danville. Triton jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a Nick Norton (Downers Grove North) three-pointer, followed by baskets from Eric Gillespie (Warren) and Percell Washington (Foreman).
Triton enjoyed a 33-22 halftime lead thanks to a late three from John Joyce (Taft).
In the second half, it was more of the same as the swarming Trojan defense held Parkland in check. Triton built their advantage to 16 points early in the half and the Cobras could not sustain any consistent offense to put a serious dent into the Trojan lead.
Triton had four players in double-figures led by Eddie Miles' 16 points. The sophomore from Hales Franciscan could not be stopped in the paint as he shot 7-of-11 from the field. Dante Thorpe (Washington, D.C.) had another strong game with 12 points off the bench. Washington finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Norton contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.
For the game, the Trojans dominated the glass, outrebounding Parkland 46-28.
If you can't make it to Danville Friday night, all Triton national tournament games will be broadcast live by WRRG 88.9 FM, Triton College Radio. You can also listen to the games via the Tuneln Radio App by searching WRRG or also by clicking on the "WRRG Streaming Broadcast" icon on the Triton men's basketball homepage.
Previously in Triton:
* Triton Men's Basketball Team No. 1 For First Time.
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