Trinity girls, boys advance to State Tournament

Published 12:15 am Thursday, February 12, 2009

GALLMAN — Trinity Episcopal’s defense crushed Columbia Academy Wednesday in a 73-41 win in the second round of the MPSA South A Tournament.

With the win, Trinity assured themselves a place in next week’s State Tournament.

The Lady Saints scored 19 points in each of the first two quarters and held Columbia to 4 points in the first to dominate with a 38-21 lead at the half.

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“It was defensive intensity — just what I said yesterday,” Trinity coach Richy Spears said. “We got some run-outs, some fast-break points, and that’s always big. The defensive intensity was tremendous.”

The Lady Saints also did what they needed to on offense.

Caroline Ketchings led Trinity with 25 points, Madeline Cross added 17 and 11 rebounds, and Bethany Ogden scored 12 with 10 rebounds.

“We executed when we needed to,” Spears said. “Everything we tried to do on the in-bounds plays we got, and we really controlled the boards. That’s what I preached to them — we had to rebound the ball.

“A couple girls, that’s how they got their points, by controlling the boards, and it also gave us some fast-break opportunities.”

Olivia Ryles scored 17 to lead Columbia, who put up 13 points to Trinity’s 23 in the third quarter.

The Lady Saints will face the Oak Forest Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m. Friday in the tournament semifinal.

Trinity boys 65, Oak Forest 54

Coach David King was not impressed by the Saints’ performance after two quarters, and he let them know it.

“We challenged them at halftime,” he said. “We weren’t playing particularly well. So we made sure to let them know this was the go-home game.”

The message was received by the Trinity players, who put up 23 points in the fourth to put away Oak Forest.

Andrew Johnson scored 28 and added 12 rebounds to lead the Saints.

“I thought he was outstanding, and all the seniors were,” King said. “He stepped up and showed why he’s our senior captain.”

King said despite being up 31-26 at halftime, Trinity wasn’t playing like he expected.

Oak Forest’s Drew Misita put up 29 points, giving the Saints trouble all night.

“We were playing hard but not smart,” King said. “No. 20 (Misita) was getting loose on us, and we talked about not letting him get open looks. We were a little tense and nervous, but we got calmed down in the fourth quarter.”

But while the Yellow Jackets outscored Trinity by 5 points in the third, they only put up 12 in the fourth quarter.

“It was a good defensive team effort,” King said. “I thought we really came together and put ourselves in a position to put the game away. We still need to get four quarters of play instead of just one or two.”

Trinity will play the winner of Brookhaven and River Oaks at 7:45 p.m. Friday.

Tensas Academy girls 71, Newton Academy 56

RAYMOND — The Tensas Academy Lady Chiefs advanced to the Class A State Tournament with a convincing win over Newton Academy Wednesday evening.

The Lady Chiefs led by just one point after the first quarter but outscored Newton Academy 21-12 in the second quarter to pull away.

Tensas didn’t let up in the second half either. The Lady Chiefs outscored the Lady Rebels by four points in the third quarter and then coasted home to the victory in the fourth.

Jordan Leake led Tensas with 19 points, while Mary Miller Ratcliff scored 18. Mary Elizabeth Crigler, Kelsey Doyle and Allie Kate Gossett all scored eight points in the victory.

Newton Academy was led by Hannah Parker with 22 points and Ashton Vance with 12.

Tensas Academy improved its record to 22-8 and will play either University Christian or Claiborne Academy at 1 p.m. Friday in the South State semifinals.