Spalding helps Trinity claim Region title

With U of L head coach Rick Pitino in the building, junior forward Raymond Spalding scored four points, grabbed 9 rebounds and blocked 3 shots in Trinity's 59-58 win over Ballard in the Region 7 Championship. Cardinal Authority visited with the 2015 four-star prospect following the trophy presentation.

Tuesday night's KHSAA Region 7 championship game marked the third meeting between Ballard and Trinity this season. The top-ranked Bruins claimed the first two meetings, including a two-point overtime win in the Louisville Invitational Tournament.

The game featured University of Louisville point guard commit Quentin Snider of Ballard and Raymond Spalding, a 2015 four-star target. Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino, Indiana assistant Kenny Johnson and Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua were among those that packed the gym at Valley High School on Tuesday evening.

Playing in front of a very energetic crowed, the Shamrocks built a 6 point advantage after the first quarter only to see it disappear in the second and trailed 35-34 at the half.

With 8 minutes to play, Ballard held a 46-45 lead. Trinity outscored the top-seed by two in the final quarter to claim a thrilling 59-58 win and advance to the Sweet 16.

"It's great," Trinity head coach Mike Szabo said immediately afterwards. "We had two wars with them earlier. We had the last one, up at the end and then they beat us in overtime. It's nice to get this."

Trinity was led by Daniel Ramser's 14 points, who connected on three consecutive three-pointers to open the game. Trey Ivory and Michael Stafford scored 12 points each. Craig Owens added 7 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.

6-foot-9, 210-pound junior forward Raymond Spalding, a 2015 four-star prospect, had 4 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in 28 minutes.

"This was a great atmosphere," he said. "I had a rough night scoring, but me and my teammates got it done. I love this team."

Szabo noted that Spalding's impact is more than just points in the score book.

"He does so much for us just with his presence. He always impacts the game," he said. "He had a great attitude, altered shots, got some big rebounds. He's an outstanding player, but I just can't say enough about our team effort."

Spalding, who added scholarship offers from Indiana and Northwestern this week, noted the presence of the college coaches, yet remained focused on the task at hand.

"During the game when I see those coaches here, I try not to pay attention to them," he explained. "I try to focus on me and my teammates and our coaches."

Spalding also holds offers from Butler, Clemson, Dayton, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Xavier. Others expressing a sincere interest includes U of L, UK, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, among others.

"It's very exciting," he said of the recruiting process. "I picked up an offer yesterday from Indiana. That's a great program. I love their program."

Spalding made an unofficial visit with Louisville on Saturday, attending the Cardinals 81-48 Senior Day victory over Connecticut. He spent a few minutes with Rick Pitino while on the visit and received a better understanding of his interest.

"I talked to him last week when they played UConn," Spalding said. "I visited there and watched that game.

"He really likes me. He's really interested. He hopes to get me up to the campus and talk to my mom some time."

However, up next is a trip with his team to the Sweet 16.

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