Saints shrug off slow start to finish Lee

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 8, 2003

JACKSON &045; It seems sort of hard to devise a scheme for your team, offensively or defensively, when you’re not sure what exactly you’ll be facing.

Such was the quandary of Trinity Episcopal head basketball coach David King, who knew absolutely nothing about the Lee (Marianna, Ark.) team his Saints struggled with early before settling in the second half.

Junior guard Gregory Ketchings hit six bombs from 3-point land for all 18 of his points as Trinity (13-3) coasted to a 57-46 victory on the first day of the Jackson Academy Classic.

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Coasted, yes, but not smooth.

&uot;(Lee) gave us some problems in the first half. They ended up being a lot better shooting ball club than I would have imagined,&uot; King said. &uot;We were very sluggish and not as intense on defense as we needed to be.&uot;

A few game adjustments from King and assistant Billy Ellzey and some attitude modifications at halftime woke up the Saints who limited Lee to just three third period points while scoring 17 themselves to put the game away by quarter’s end, 49-29.

Dudley Guice Jr. led all scorers with 19 points, but King pointed the finger at Ketchings for playing clutch when he needed to be.

&uot;That adds a special dimension to our squad when he (Ketchings) can hit his threes,&uot; King said. &uot;His got such a great shot and as Chase (Brown) penetrates that opens thing for us on the perimeter.&uot;

The Saints found themselves in a haze and perhaps overlooked Lee in preparation for a possible rematch with host JA.

After losing the first quarter 18-15, Trinity responded in the second period to go into intermission with a 32-26 lead.

&uot;We were taking to many chances and getting burned by them early,&uot; King said. &uot;Coach Ellzey made some key changes for us at the half and it showed the way we put away that third quarter.&uot;

Jeffrey Higgins led Lee with 14.

King said that is was certainly unusual to go into a game blind, but added the trial was welcomed.

&uot;I like games where we have to play good, fundamental basketball,&uot; King said. &uot;That’s what was so disappointing earlier when we gave up so many easy baskets.&uot;

The win does put the Saints back in the ambiguous position of facing the host school. Trinity is 0-2 against the Raiders this year, but playing hem tough each time.

King puts no more pressure on his team for JA than he would any other game, but he is well aware to earn the best’s respect you got to snatch one away from them here and there.

&uot;It’s not the end of the world if we lose to them (JA), but we’re ready to jump over that hump,&uot; King said. &uot;The challenge for us is not beating JA, but putting four good quarters of basketball together.&uot;