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Trinity holds on against Wilkinson County 65-62 to stay undefeated

BRITTNEY LOHMILLER | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Wilkinson County's De'Kendrick Smith jumps to block Trinity's Michael Whitley’s shot in the first half of the boys basketball game Monday evening. (BRITTNEY LOHMILLER | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)
Wilkinson County’s De’Kendrick Smith jumps to block Trinity’s Michael Whitley’s shot in the first half of the boys basketball game Monday evening. (BRITTNEY LOHMILLER | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)

NATCHEZ — It was a close one all the way through as the Trinity Episcopal Day School Saints proved their toughness against a scrappy Wilkinson County High School team to pull out a 65-62 win.

The game was physical from the beginning as Trinity jumped out in its usual high-energy full-court press, but Wilkinson returned that same pressure that Trinity had yet to encounter this year.

Trinity head coach Edwin White said the match against the Wildcats was a good test for them.

“We had to pull out everything but the kitchen table to win that game,” he joked. “We needed that game, because we needed a real test. They played impressive defense. We pressed them and they came back and pressed us.”

Tommy McCoy led all Saints with 23 points as Michael Whitley added on 19 points. Though Arzell McCoy fouled out early in the fourth quarter, he still managed to put up 13 points.

Travion Jones was the Wildcats’ leading man with 16 points while Allenzae Staggers tallied 15 points.

Wilkinson scored the first field goal of the game at the 5:14 mark of the first quarter on a lay up by Khan Jarvis, but Trinity’s JoJo Vinson came back with a lay up that gave Trinity a 4-2 lead.

By the end of the first, Trinity led 10-9 and extended that lead early in the second quarter on a steal and lay up by Arzell McCoy, 12-9.

Jarvis hit a turnaround jumper in the lane at the 2:10 mark to give the Wildcats the 16-14 lead, but Tommy McCoy tied the game at 19 with a big three-pointer with under a minute left.

Wilkinson went into the locker room ahead when De’Kendrick Smith made his first free throw, rebounded the second and scored it for a three-point possession to put Wilkinson up 22-19 at the half.

Trinity’s third quarter effort gave the team a little space, outscoring Wilkinson 16-9 for a 35-31 lead that held up in the fourth quarter.

The second half, mainly the final quarter, saw the most physicality as Wilkinson shot eight-of-17 rom the free throw line and Trinity tallied 12-of-21 from the line.

“The fourth quarter came down to free throws,” White said. “Trey Hall and Arzell McCoy fouled out, so I had to depend on underclassmen and they stepped up for me.”

Though the Wildcats outscored Trinity 31-30 in the final quarter, it wasn’t enough to make up for the third quarter drought as Trinity pulled out the 65-62 victory.

White said he was happy to get the win, though playing such a defensive-minded team displayed their flaws and White said they would be working on their errors before the next outing.

“We had a problem on our out-of-bounds plays and we had too many turnovers,” White said. “Those were the differences in the game.”

Trinity Episcopal plays against Ben’s Ford at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Wilkinson County girls 63, Trinity girls 27

NATCHEZ — The Trinity Episcopal Lady Saints couldn’t handle Wilkinson County High School’s size in the paint, as they were handled 63-27.

Gadricka Cotton put up 15 points for the Lady Wildcats while Sharieka Franklin added 12 points. For the Lady Saints, no player reached double figure as Marty Lewis led all scorers with eight points,

The Lady Saints had a hard time containing Wilkinson’s post players as they allowed 17 points in the first quarter and only generated four points.

The second quarter seemed like Trinity found a way to keep up with Wilkinson as they stayed neck and neck scoring 13 points each before heading into half time down 30-17.

However, the Lady Saints got too aggressive in the second half and sent the Lay Wildcats to the foul line several times while putting a few starters like Gabby Knight in foul trouble.

Frustration kicked in and ultimately kicked Trinity while they were down, allowing Wilkinson to outscore the Lady Saints 33-10 in the second half to take a 63-27 win.

The Lady Saints play again at 6 p.m. Friday against Ben’s Ford.