Trimble Drops 47 on Gonzaga

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- My recent string of attending tremendous high school hoops games continued Feb. 9, as Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.) outlasted Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 69-68 at Gonzaga. For Maryland fans, the performance of Romelo Trimble again should bring hope for the future.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- My recent string of attending tremendous high school hoops games continued Feb. 9, as Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.) outlasted Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 69-68 at Gonzaga. For Maryland fans, the performance of Romelo Trimble again should bring hope for the future.

It was evident from the opening tip that Trimble had it going. His first shot was a deep three, soon followed by two more from well beyond the stripe. At halftime, Gonzaga had 24 points. Trimble had 23 alone as the Knights built a comfortable 10-point lead.

O'Connell kept the lead throughout the third quarter until midway through the fourth stanza, when the Eagles, led by diminutive point guard Chris Lykes, mounted a comeback. Lykes, a freshman who stands 5-feet-7, is explosive and can shoot it. He finished with 15 points, and Gonzaga actually took the lead with a little over two minutes to play, only to see Trimble quickly answer with a mid-range jumper, and then close it out at the free throw line.

Gonzaga's Bryant Crawford, a 6-2 point guard, finished with eight points and five assists for the Eagles. Fellow junior Sam Miller, 6-8, had 12 points, including an alley-oop dunk that brought the house down.

That said, the night belonged to Trimble, who finished with a career high 47 points. His stat line was off the charts: 10-of-19 from the floor, 6-of-10 on 3s, three assists, eight rebounds, two steals and two turnovers. When his long-range jumper wasn't falling, he was going hard to the rim and getting fouled, and shot a whopping 21-of-23 from the free-throw line.

Trimble, who should easily win the Player of the Year award by the Washington Post, is an acquired taste, and after watching this sturdy 6-2 senior for three years, it's pretty obvious he's a great high school basketball player, who should have a solid collegiate career as well. As we've discussed here often, he doesn't have blow-by speed or quickness, he won't dunk on you, and he's not an ESPN highlight reel type player. But this Mickey D member knows how to play basketball.

He rarely forces a bad shot, seems to play within his limitations, and uses strength and smarts to get his points on a fairly low number of shots. If you play him straight up, he can get to the lane or launch from deep. If he's double teamed, as he has been most of the year, he finds people and delivers crisp passes.

Yes, he'll get a couple of shots blocked each game, but Trimble has simply produced points and wins on a consistent basis throughout his O'Connell career. Even on a young Knights team which has struggled to score at times, Trimble has gotten it done, averaging about 25 points per game after this latest outburst Feb. 9. He's become a player who can be effective at either guard spot, and yes, he could help the Terps right now.

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