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Tough seasons are a fight for area teams

Cathedral’s Jardarius Anderson attempts to take the ball to the hoop against Piney Woods’ Kyle Lee and Marciano Demeritte Friday night. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The road may not get much easier for the Cathedral School boys’ basketball team, but it is not likely to be any tougher that the last two contests.

The Green Wave spent last week taking their lumps against two of the best boys basketball teams in the state, but Cathedral learned a lot about itself in losses to West Lincoln and Piney Woods by a combined score of 143-68.

“It’s very difficult to play those teams anytime, but playing one after the other was really challenging,” head coach Peter Arnold said. “We went in with the perspective that we were looking forward to playing them. We knew what kind of fight it was going to be, but we looked forward to see what we could do against that level of opponent. We set our own goals and gained a lot from it.”

The Green Wave’s best performance came in the first half of Friday’s game against Piney Woods.

“We played under control, but in the second half we went back to bad habits,” Arnold said. “But we learned what we can do when we control things. If we play under control, we can play with anybody.”

Cathedral is 6-13 overall and 0-4 in MHSAA Region 7-1A, but Arnold said the team’s struggles have not gotten his team down.

“The No. 1 thing is you have to love the game,” he said. “And we are focused on our goals, and right now we are stuck on six wins, so we are competing and working hard for No. 7. We are going to fight our way to win No. 7, and then we will look for No. 8.”

Cathedral faces another tough test Tuesday when it hosts Hinds Agricultural High School, but Arnold said nothing Hinds AHS throws at his team would surprise his players at this point.

“It’s not going to be any more difficult than what we saw (last week),” he said.

Trinity Episcopal girls

The Trinity Episcopal girls’ basketball team is still searching for its first win this season, but the Lady Saints continue to fight through adversity and compete, and head coach Chuck Beurle said he just hopes his girls are rewarded with at least one win this year.

“It would be tremendous, because we’ve been competitive in a few games,” he said. “It’s been a tough year, and we have not had an easy schedule. It has not been easy, but the girls’ attitudes are pretty good.”

The Lady Saints are playing with just four varsity girls on the squad this year, and the rest of the team is made up of junior varsity players. Beurle said the lack of bodies plus inexperience has led to Trinity playing catch up all season.

“We have one that has never played before and one that didn’t play the last couple of years,” he said. “So while other teams are working on Xs and Os, we’ve been working on dribbling the basketball and shooting. If you can’t score points, it’s hard to win games 15-14.”

Trinity fell to Copiah Academy 61-11 Friday night, and losses like that have the potential to really bring teams down, but Beurle said the young Trinity girls have responded well, and this year’s struggles will help them later in their careers.

“We only graduate one of four (varsity players), and a lot of eighth and ninth graders are getting playing time,” he said. “So by the time they are seniors, they will be in a position to have already had some playing time under their belts, and that will certainly help in the near future. There’s only one way to go right now, and that’s up.”

The Lady Saints will start district play this week when they face Columbia Academy Tuesday.