Parklane overcomes feisty Trinity squad for tourney win

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; For a half, all Trinity Episcopal head coach David King could do was smile.

Down to just six players and two with significant playing time from last year, the Saints started out strong against Parklane and built up a double-digit lead, and the coach didn’t have to get up out of his chair.

Not only were they depleted, but the Saints put in one practice on Monday after the football season ended last week before Tuesday’s game.

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But the Pioneers turned up the pressure a bit in the second half, and what was a double-digit lead for Trinity turned into the same for Parklane, who took a 61-44 win Tuesday at the Cellular South Miss-Lou Basketball Classic.

&uot;I had more fun coaching that first half of that basketball game than I had in five years,&uot; King said. &uot;I’ve coached football, baseball, basketball and track, and I had more fun in that first half. It’s going to be a fun little ol’ group.&uot;

The squad was without post player Dudley Guice Jr. and had guards Chase Brown and Stevan Ridley out with injuries. But the Saints started hot and built up a 15-point lead early in the second half before the bottom fell out and the Pioneers got rolling on both ends of the floor.

The Pioneers rolled off a 33-1 run over a 13-minute stretch in the second half to take over.

&uot;We made some adjustment at halftime on defense,&uot; Parklane head coach E.W. Foy said. &uot;We put some different people &045; our better defensive people &045; on their two guys that were hurting us &045; No. 11 (Ryan Rachal) and No. 22 (Gregory Ketchings). Our kids just kind of stood up and started playing basketball like they’re capable of playing. I’ve got to give Trinity credit. They played hard.&uot;

The Pioneers (2-1) picked up the tempo in their man-to-man defense a bit in the second half and went with a little more press than in the first half when they bounced between a man and a zone set.

The added pressure netted some turnovers at the start of the third quarter, and a bucket from Kyle Howard after the Saints scored the first four points of the second half signaled the momentum swing.

Benton Turnage converted a layup off a steal with 1:30 left in the third to cut the lead to 37-32 and put the run at 10-0. Turnage later coverted a three-point play with 1:10 left and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to take a 38-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

&uot;We practiced for 30 minutes (Monday), and two of them weren’t even there,&uot; King said. &uot;It was the first time a couple of them had touched a basketball in a while, and I’m very proud of them. Joey (Wilson) hadn’t played basketball eighth grade, and Sam (Kirby) is a senior and hasn’t played since the ninth grade. I’m very proud of them.&uot;

The Pioneers got a three-point play from Kyle Howard at the start of the fourth quarter to put the run at 19-0.