Trinity Episcopal School basketball players practice their fast-break offense during a morning practice at the school last week. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity Episcopal School basketball players practice their fast-break offense during a morning practice at the school last week. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

Archived Story

Trinity boys riding football momentum

Published 12:05am Sunday, January 5, 2014

NATCHEZ — A group of Trinity Episcopal Day School boys finished their fall semester undefeated — in everything.

After a perfect record en route to an MAIS Class A state title in football, eight Trinity players made their way over to the boys basketball team for the start of the season. And that same group didn’t lose a game, closing out the 2013 calendar year with a 10-0 record.

“It feels good,” forward Arzell McCoy said during practice Wednesday. “We’re doing what coach wants us to do and running plays to perfection. The defense is on point, and everyone is giving 100 percent. That’s all you can ask for.”

Tommy McCoy spins the ball on his finger during a break in the action. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)
Tommy McCoy spins the ball on his finger during a break in the action. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

Head coach Edwin White said he thinks the undefeated record so far is a carry-over from the mindset the basketball players had during football season.

“It’s had a tremendous effect,” White said. “When you have kids who are used to winning and believe they should win, they’ll do anything they can to keep winning.”

McCoy agreed with his coach, saying winning state in football has made them want to come out on top again.

“It’s very special,” McCoy said. “We won state (in football), and we’re trying to do it in basketball and bring another one back to Trinity.”

Junior guard Trey Hall said the team’s attitude is the biggest reason they haven’t lost a game yet.

“We have that same determination we had in football,” Hall said.

Hall also said winning a state title would be even sweeter in basketball than football for him personally.

“Basketball doesn’t come easy,” Hall said. “You can hide (your weaknesses) a little in football, but in basketball, someone will see those mistakes. You have to want it more in basketball than in football.”

Momentum isn’t the only thing these Saints have going for them. White said the players have been a pleasure to coach so far with how they’ve bought in to what White wants to run.

Quinton Logan practices free throws in the Trinity Episcopal gym last week in preparation for the second half of the basketball season. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)
Quinton Logan practices free throws in the Trinity Episcopal gym last week in preparation for the second half of the basketball season. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

“They work hard and work together as a unit,” White said. “They’ve bought into our new system, which is a kamikaze of offenses and defenses so people don’t know what we’re going to do from one game to the next. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to make those adjustments, but these kids can.”

It also helps that there’s plenty of talent on the roster, White added.

“Speed is our main attribute,” White said. “Anyone who plays us man to man, we feel like it will be an advantage to us. We have so many different options.

“This is probably one of the best teams I’ve ever coached in my 20 to 21 years of coaching.”

The biggest challenge so far in the young season, McCoy said, has been adjusting quickly from one sport to the other.

“We had to hurry up and get into basketball shape,” he said. “Coach really pushed us to do that.”

And while being in shape for football helped, McCoy said it took a few games before they began to adjust to the pace of basketball.

“It’s not the same kind of shape,” McCoy said. “In football, you probably max run 10 to 30 yards, then you stop and wait on the play to come in. With basketball, it’s constant running.”

With an undefeated record on the line, Hall said he realizes it will probably be tougher to go undefeated in basketball than in football.

“You just have to stay on your P’s and Q’s,” Hall said. “If we lose, we just have to use that as motivation to keep playing and work on things.”

Trinity returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tensas Academy.