Tuesday, December 20, 2016


The 2016 King of the Bluegrass Championship was an epic battle between Kentucky's No. 2 Trinity (9-1) and Lilburn, Georgia's Berkmar Patriots (8-4). It was an early three-pointer by Zach Cooks that sent Berkmar ahead 8-3 in the opening minute of play. A 14-3 run by Trinity pushed the Shamrocks ahead 17-11 midway through the quarter. Indiana signee Al Durham scored the next seven straight points to put the Patriots back in the lead at 18-17 with 1:17 remaining in the opening quarter. It was an LJ Harris putback in the closing seconds that sent the teams into the quarter break tied at 19-19. Trinity opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run to push ahead 28-21. Zach Cooks three-pointer midway through the quarter pulled Berkmar back within 28-26. It was the Shamrocks that reeled off a 16-4 run in the final four minutes of the half to go ahead 44-30 at halftime.

The Patriots scored the opening four points of the second half to pull within nine points. The Shamrocks quickly thwarted their run jumping back ahead by as many as fourteen points at 53-39 midway through the third quarter. A trio of free-throws by Al Durham capped an 8-0 Berkmar run to end the third quarter with the Patriots trailing 55-47. Ben Soumahoro's basket on the opening possession of the fourth quarter cut the Trinity lead to just six points. A pair of buckets by Jayden Scrubb pushed the Shamrock lead back to twelve point just minutes later. It was a Lukas Burkman three-pointer with two minutes to play that looked to put things out of reach for the Patriots. Yet a minute later it was Zach Cooks who scored five straight for Berkmar to pull them back in the game trailing only 69-64 with 31 seconds remaining in play. Lukas Burkman hit a pair of free throws on Trinity's next possession but they couldn't stop the Berkmar momentum. Durham nailed a three on the next trip for Berkmar cutting the lead to 71-67. Bukman was immediately sent back to the free throw line for the Shamrock where he could only connect on one of two shots. Another Durham basket with 9.1 remaining pulled Berkmar within 72-69. Burkman's next trip to the line was just as eventful as he missed the first of two free throws giving Berkmar hope. The second free throw fell pushing the Shamrocks lead back to 73-69. A turnover by Durham on the final Berkmar possession sealed the victory for Trinity and gave the Rocks their second King of the Bluegrass Championship.

Al Durham led all scorers with 30 points. Zach Cooks added 19 points and Jay Estime tallied 11 points for the Patriots. Trinity was led by the duo of Lukas Burkman and Jayden Scrubb with 16 points apiece. Bob White Most Valuable Player, David Johnson, added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for the Shamrocks.

[Click to View Box Score]

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