LOUISVILLE — Jeffersonville had its chance to win an outright conference championship and knock off a top-ranked team on the same night.
The Red Devils would have to settle for their first outright Hoosier Hills Conference championship in six years — thanks to Bedford North Lawrence’s 50-44 win over New Albany — after they had their nine-game winning streak snapped by a 61-54 loss to Kentucky No. 1 Trinity on Friday.
“Coming into this year, in August, my goal was just to field a team with good kids that Jeffersonville could be proud of,” Devils coach Chad Gilbert said. “They’ve surpassed all expectations. My only regret is that I don’t have everyone another year. I wish they were all juniors.”
Gilbert said despite wrapping up the league title, his team isn’t done competing in the HHC. Jeff hosts Columbus East on Tuesday with a chance to be the second team in program history to go 7-0 in the league.
“We’re very happy to win the conference, but we know there’s still business to take care of,” Gilbert said.
After trailing 34-22 at the half and 48-40 after three quarters on Friday, Jeff had a chance to pull off the upset late in the fourth quarter.
After cutting the Shamrock lead to 52-49 with 3:20 left after five straight Trice Whaley points, Jeff appeared to have Trinity stopped on the defensive end.
Darryl Hicks, who had a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards for the Shamrocks, missed a pair of 3-pointers, but Trinity center Nathan Dieudonne got both offensive rebounds. On the second, he kicked it out to Troy Saxton, who knocked down a 3 to give the Rocks a commanding 55-49 with 2:17 remaining.
Trinity hit 6-of-8 from the foul line to clinch its 21st victory in its last 23 games.
“We had a chance to get closer,” Gilbert said. “Trinity came up with every 50/50 ball. We have to put ourselves in position to get those balls.”