TE’s 3Q run nets 7-A title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Either way you look at it, something just wasn’t going to add up in Tensas Academy’s favor.

The Chiefs just sometimes seem to have a knack for coming out sluggish in the third quarter, and Trinity Episcopal’s Saints will do just the opposite in the third quarter &045; for most of the game, quite honestly.

So when the Saints held an 18-4 edge in the third quarter, well, you get the picture.

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The Saints built on it to take a 48-33 win over Tensas to finish the District 7-A regular season undefeated and claim the No. 1 seed at next week’s district tournament. The Chiefs, however, still have plenty of life by taking the No. 2 seed into the tournament.

&uot;We play solid defense, and that’s the type of score we’ll have to (give up) to be successful &045; in the 40s and 30s,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;For people that like defense, that was a good game to watch. I’m sure if the cards fall the way they’re supposed to we’ll play them again Saturday in the tournament championship. Tensas is a quality opponent.&uot;

The 15-point difference in the final score could be a little misleading in a game that featured plenty of hustle on both sides. The score was knotted at 11 after one before the Saints nudged out to a seven-point halftime lead.

But when the third quarter cranked up and the Saints stayed in their half-court man-to-man defense, things just started to unravel for the Chiefs.

&uot;That is voodoo for us,&uot; TA head coach Chris Jacobs said. &uot;Every game we’ve lost we’ve had a bad third quarter. I can’t see how it’s conditioning because I’ve worked these boys as hard as any I’ve had. It’s something we’ll have to overcome. A lot of times it’s good teams doing to us, which it was tonight.

&uot;Trinity has got a good team. They’re not the team that went to Overall last year, but they’re good, well-coached and don’t let up at all.&uot;

The Saints held a 24-17 lead at halftime after big post Robert Manson sat the last 2 1/2 minutes in foul trouble. But the big Australian checked back in at the start of the second half with three fouls, and he put in a bucket with 6:05 left for a 29-17 lead.

After Tensas scored on a Tyler White basket, the Saints went to Manson again. This time he got fouled while making a bucket, and his three-point play with 4:58 put the lead at 32-19.

&uot;They did a good job, and Robert was patient,&uot; King said. &uot;He got some fouls being aggressive, but the other guys stepped up. Ryan took some of the pressure off him down low. We moved the ball well together. This team is really unselfish, and we’ve preached that day-in and day-out. They make the extra pass to get the better shot.&uot;

The game plan was to get Manson to foul out, and he did early in the fourth quarter. But problem was some of his teammates stepped up in his absence.

Like late in the third quarter after he picked up his fourth foul at the 4:00 mark and the Saints holding a 35-19 lead. Ryan Rachal hit a bucket before Wyatt Craig tossed in another for a 37-19 lead.

Craig then nailed a 3-pointer with three seconds left to put Trinity’s lead at 42-21 heading into the fourth quarter.

Manson, however, still finished with a game-high 17 points despite fouling out with 5:11 in the fourth.

&uot;He hurt us,&uot; Jacobs said. &uot;I scrimmage against (my team) all the time, and they have a tough time stopping me because of my height. It’s something they’ll have to get better at.&uot;