Trinity’s season ends with loss to No. 1 Cougs

Published 12:25 am Thursday, February 28, 2008

CLINTON — The Trinity Saints made it to the MPSA Overall Tournament by playing scrappy, tough defense.

So it was no surprise that they would scrap and fight with the best team in the state.

However, in the end, the No. 1 ranked Hillcrest Christian Cougars proved too tough for the Saints, and Trinity’s season ended with a 54-40 loss in the tournament quarterfinals at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.

Email newsletter signup

“Their athletic ability is so good, we knew we would have to play a mistake free game,” Trinity coach David King said. “The intensity we had was as good as I could ask for, but we were dealing with a team that was superior to us in most facets of the game.”

The game was lost for Trinity in the first quarter. It took the Saints a little while to adjust to Hillcrest’s pressure defense.

The Cougars scored the first 10 points of the game and led 12-2 after one quarter.

Trinity spent the rest of the game trying to close the gap.

After trimming the lead to 23-14 at halftime, Hillcrest looked like they would have an easy time of it in the second half, scoring the first seven points to take their biggest lead of the game at 30-14 at the 6:27 mark of the third quarter.

However, following a Trinity timeout, the Saints went on a 10-0 run to trim the lead to 30-24 with 4 minutes remaining in the quarter.

However, as would happen the entire game, the Cougars would answer.

Hillcrest pulled back out to a 40-30 lead with 7 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Trinity would try one more time to respond, cutting the lead to 40-34 with 5:48 remaining after a Matthew Freeman basket, but Hillcrest would score the next four points to reclaim their 10-point lead at the four minute mark and Trinity would not threaten again.

Hillcrest hit six out of eight free throws in the final two minutes to pull away for the final margin.

Freeman led Trinity with 17 points and six rebounds while Jordan Dossett scored 10 points and Andrew Johnson scored six points and grabbed eight boards for the Saints.

Hillcrest was led by Austin Hartzog with 20 points. Bradley Parker added 11 for the Cougars.

King said he was proud of his senior players, who carried the Saints to a berth in the Overall Tournament despite moving up in classification this season.

“I’ve got seniors who did an outstanding job their entire careers,” King said. “To get to Overall two years in a row in two different classifications in unusual. I can’t be more proud of a team in a loss than what I am tonight.”

Senior guard Parker Brumfield said despite the loss, he was proud of the team and took great memories from this season and his career.

“To make it this far is a big accomplishment. It’s good that we got the respect of the rest of the Class AA teams,” he said. “I made some great memories with my teammates over the years. I wouldn’t trade any of them.”