Trine came off the bench to net TC’s first eight points of the second frame, sandwiching two 3-pointers around a deuce on 3-of-3 shooting to put the Trojans up 24-14 on the way to a 29-20 lead at the half.
Madison-Grant (4-3), which shot just 7 of 24 (29 percent) overall and 1 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half, started to make some noise in the third quarter, getting to within three points, 39-36, on Matt Carey’s hoop at :24. But Garrett Dick’s buzzer-beating trey gave the Trojans a much-needed six-point cushion as TC headed into the fourth up 42-36.
The Argylls shot 53 percent from the field (16 of 30) over the final 16 minutes to make for an interesting game down the stretch.
“The problem is, we’re not getting off to very good starts,” Madison-Grant coach Brian Trout said. “And when you’re trying to come back from double-digits every game, it’s just not going to happen.”
The Argylls stayed within a bucket through much of the final eight minutes but never did manage to grab the lead.
“The two games I’ve watched them play live, they had a double-digit deficit and came back to win,” Zahn said. “When they got on the run we played tentatively on defense and on offense it was like four guys watching one rather than executing as a team. Once we got back to that, I thought we got some late buckets we needed to give us the win.”
Madison-Grant placed four players in double digits. Aside from McNutt, Carey netted 12 and Aaron Patton scored 11. Big man Tanner Wise, a 6-foot-9 junior, led the Argylls with 13 points.
Colton Leininger scored nine points for TC, while Smith chipped in eight.