Trinity battles tough schedule to find success

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 22, 2002

NATCHEZ &045; You hate to beat a dead horse since the Trinity boys’ team has other aspects to how far it succeeds this season, but the schedule the Saints have opened up with is a nightmare.

Through nine games Trinity is 7-2 with its lone losses coming against MPSA AAA powers Jackson Academy and Central Private.

And both by the narrowest of margins. Trinity lost to Jackson Academy, 58-51, several weeks ago at the Madison Regional Academy tournament after being up late in the game.

Email newsletter signup

The Saints took Central Private, AAA defending state champs. into overtime before losing 50-46.

Trinity will try to exact some revenge on one of those teams Friday when it begins play in the Parklane Tournament.

&uot;I hope we win out and Central Private does too, so we can play them again,&uot; Saints head coach David King said. &uot;There’s going to be a lot of ball there (Parklane).&uot;

The seven-team tournament is three days with each team guaranteed at least two games with a shot at a third.

Along with the host school, Central Private and Trinity, MPSA powers Columbia and Delta Academy are scheduled to participate.

The Saints face a very balanced 13-1 Columbia team on Friday.

King is still waiting on tape of Columbia so he can scout them, but he has some familiarity with them.

&uot;They are very athletic. Their starting five didn’t play football,&uot; he said. &uot;Since that’s the case they’re probably ahead of everybody else so far.&uot;

Contrary to Columbia, Trinity like most small MPSA schools has basketball players who donned helmets and pads for football, too.

The Saints backcourt consisting of Chase Brown and Gregory Ketchings, manned the backfield on Trinity’s South State semifinal gridiron squad this year.

Post Dudley Guice Jr. was the leading receiver in all of A football.

And Ryan Rachal, while joining Guice down low on the hardwood, played under center and called the shots between the hashmarks.

After this weekend’s tournament, Trinity’s itinerary calls for a date in New Orleans with JA before a Hornets-Indiana Pacers NBA game.

King said the kids are excited about that opportunity of playing in the New Orleans Arena, but he can’t afford them to look ahead.

&uot;Obviously they’re pumped up, but these guys are intent on getting better each night,&uot; he said. &uot;Any given night we can get upset if we’re not playing well.&uot;

The trick is &045; and it appears King has learned this eons ago &045; to treat every opponent like they were of the same caliber.

Suit up, lace up and get up.

And after the hangover of a disappointing finish to his and his players’ football season, King was anxious to see how long it take to move on.

&uot;What I’m excited about is we’re hitting our basketball stride,&uot; he said. &uot;Anytime you play against teams from two classes above you, you can’t let down.&uot;

The Saints have stayed relatively healthy through the first-third of the season. Guice missed some time battling a cold last week.

But 30 points and 14 rebounds against Silliman Saturday is a good way to vaporize any leftover symptoms.

Guice’s outburst isn’t typical of the Trinity team and that’s another element why King is so ga-ga over this group.

On any typical night any one of the five starters could average 20 or more points for another Miss-Lou team. At Trinity, those players put aside personal numbers to get wins.

&uot;I’m so pleased with their unselfish play,&uot; King said. &uot;That’s half the battle with high school players, but they’ve been able to fight off personal thoughts and it’s shown the last four games.&uot;