Trinity girls junior varsity basketball coach Faye Minor and players shout “Lady Saints” before heading back to the gym to start the second half of their game against Tensas Academy Friday. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity girls junior varsity basketball coach Faye Minor and players shout “Lady Saints” before heading back to the gym to start the second half of their game against Tensas Academy Friday. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)

Undefeated in district, Trinity JV girls realize they have something special

Published 12:00am Monday, January 27, 2014

NATCHEZ — Members of the Trinity Episcopal Day School Lady Saints junior varsity basketball team are figuring something out about themselves — they are good.

The Lady Saints are 11-3 overall and 4-0 in district, which is a big step up from their rough 2012-2013 season.

Trinity head coach Faye Minor said her players realized their talent early in the season.

“Around the fourth game of the season, they realized they had something special,” Minor said. “We lost one game, then we won three in a row and said, ‘Hey, we’re pretty good.’”

Trinity’s Alli Smith shoots over Tensas Academy’s Courtlyn Bamburg in the second half of the junior varsity game Friday night. The Lady Saints are 11-3 overall and 4-0 in district for the 2013-2014 season. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)
Trinity’s Alli Smith shoots over Tensas Academy’s Courtlyn Bamburg in the second half of the junior varsity game Friday night. The Lady Saints are 11-3 overall and 4-0 in district for the 2013-2014 season. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)

Minor said their winning streak is a result of experience and discipline.

“They understand the game better,” she said. “They have been together since the seventh grade. They play well together, they listen and they’re students of the game, that’s the big thing. They want to learn as much as they can.”

And the Lady Saints are learning the game from a coach who is passionate about the sport, and she showed her passion in a big way this season.

Minor suffered back-to-back heart attacks Dec. 9, but still kept basketball on her mind.

“I went into the hospital with chest pains, and the doctor told me, ‘Actually, you had a heart attack,’” Minor said. “Later on that day, I had more chest pains, and it was another heart attack.

“I found out I had 99.99 percent blockage in one artery, and I had a heart stent put in to expand that artery.”

When the Lady Saints found out about Minor’s health scare, they were concerned.

“We were scared, and we were really worried about her,” said freshman center McKenzie Smith. “We were just making sure she was OK. First thing she asked us is if we won (our game that day), and we did.”

Minor said her hospital scare helped her appreciate even more how much she loves and cherishes life, basketball and her Lady Saints.

“My love of coaching has greatened, it is my calling,” she said. “I realized that life is important. My girls called and checked on me, and that made me feel good.”

But once Minor came back to the gym, it was back to work for Trinity.

Freshman point guard Marty Lewis said there are a few things that need tweaking before heading into the MAIS District 7-A junior varsity district tournament.

“We have to get better at our fast breaks, definitely,” Lewis said.

With the district tournament right around the corner Feb. 8, Minor said she is confident the Lady Saints will have a strong showing if they continue to work hard.

“We’ll probably either play Wilkinson County Christian Academy or Franklin Academy in the first round of the district tourney,” she said. “I’m looking for us to be very strong and to be ranked No. 1 going into the tournament.”

Minor said she is also looking for Lewis to continue being a leader on the floor.

“She plays both JV and varsity, and she’s just a go-getter,” minor said. “We have a big work load on her. We expect her to handle the ball, run the offense and rebound. She does it all.”

With less than a month until the big show, the Lady Saints are working to keep themselves undefeated in district as they play Tallulah Academy at 4 p.m. Thursday.