Lady Saints start solid before falling to BA girls

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 31, 2005

CLINTON &045; Early on, the Trinity Lady Saints took Brookhaven Academy out of what the Lady Cougars wanted to do on offense and made things tough on the No. 1 team in the state.

It didn’t last long though, as the Lady Cougars (26-1, 12-0) got back on track and beat Trinity (15-10, 6-6) 56-28 Saturday at Mississippi College.

&uot;They did a good job early on shutting down what we were trying to do on offense and forcing us to become outside-oriented,&uot; Brookhaven Academy coach Barry Gray said.

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&uot;We came out a little flat in the first few minutes. Trinity was more focused. We came out more focused in the second half and tried to go inside to Kristian (Davidson).&uot;

Davidson, a senior post player for the Lady Cougars, had just four points, all in the second half, as Trinity’s post players did a good job preventing Davidson from getting the ball.

Most of Brookhaven’s first half-points came from jumpshots or from guards driving to the basket. The Lady Cougars led 15-3 at the end of the first quarter.

&uot;We didn’t just come to play, we came to win,&uot; Trinity coach Melanie Hall said. &uot;Anything can happen with fine coaching, fine players and fine parents. We’re just having a lot of fun. We’re going to take something out of the game whether it’s a win or a loss. We’ll get better for next time.&uot;

Brookhaven changed its defense, going to a pressing man-to-man midway through the first half that bothered Trinity on offense and got the Lady Cougar offense rolling as well. Brookhaven outscored Trinity 8-0 during a two-minute stretch in the first quarter after going to the man defense.

&uot;It made them speed things up, took away all that screening they had been doing,&uot; Gray said.

The Lady Cougars led 26-10 at halftime, then took away any doubt it would win early in the second half, when the Lady Cougars opened with a 22-5 run that spanned the entire third quarter. Davidson finally got involved, scoring two baskets and getting several offensive rebounds for the Lady Cougars.

Trinity missed three of its four free-throw attempts in the third quarter, missing a chance to get some easy points at the line. For the game, the Lady Saints shot eight-for-19 from the line.

The Lady Cougars attempted just seven free throws in the game and made three. Most of Brookhaven’s offensive opportunities came on jumpshots or fast breaks, meaning the Lady Cougars weren’t often fouled while shooting.

Trinity’s Mallory Archer led all scorers with 17 points. Kelli Byrd had 16 and Lauren Smith had 11 for the Lady Cougars.

Archer accounted for most of her team’s scoring and helped beat the full-court press Brookhaven employed for most of the game.

&uot;Teams like to press us because we don’t have a lot of depth,&uot; Hall said.

The full-court press helped break the game open for Brookhaven as Trinity’s players appeared to tire in the second half.

&uot;The press worked. We turned it up in the second half and they got a little tired,&uot; Gray said.

Brookhaven used the game to get some time for its younger players and Gray said he was pleased with the way his backups played.

&uot;Last time Trinity smashed our second team,&uot; Gray said. &uot;Our second and third teams did better tonight.&uot;

Trinity is finished with its regular season schedule and now has to wait it out for the conference tournament, where they may face Brookhaven again.

&uot;We hope to face them again at the tournament,&uot; Hall said.

In the district tournament, Trinity may get some additional help.