Trinity falls in South State title game

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 15, 2009

GALLMAN — The Saints’ 4-point first half lead wasn’t enough to sustain them as Trinity Episcopal fell to Bowling Green in the MPSA Class AA South State title game Saturday night.

Although Trinity outscored the Bowling Green 25-21 in the first half, Bowling Green came charging back with a 24-point third quarter to take a 43-40 lead with eight minutes left.

Then Bowling Green scored one more point than Trinity in the final quarter to secure the win.

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“As well as we played Friday, we just couldn’t get them up tonight,” Trinity coach David King said. “I guess that’s my fault for never being able to get our team up two nights in a row. We were just flat.”

As strong as the Saints’ defense was in Friday’s semifinal game against Brookhaven — Trinity held Brookhaven to 39 points — the Saints never could get the defense in place against Bowling Green.

“The problem was defensive intensity,” King said. “That tells you the story right there — it was our inability to play defense as well as we did last night. Offense comes and goes in state tournaments, but you’ve got to be able to play defense every night.”

The Saints had a balanced offensive attack, but no scorers stepped up big.

Brandon Daggs and Giovanni Dent both scored 13 points, R.J. Fleming scored 12 and Andrew Johnson added 11 points.

“I haven’t been able to get them up to play well in back-to-back games all year,” King said. “That’s really been one of our weaknesses. I tried to preach to them that they have to play well in back-to-back games. I guess it’s my fault as a coach.”

The Saints will be the No. 2 seed in the MPSA Class AA State Tournament next week. They will take on the North’s No. 1 seed, Clarksdale Lee.

Prairie View girls 56, Trinity 43

The Lady Saints’ sluggish first half was too much to overcome in the consolation game of the MPSA Class AA South State Tournament Saturday.

Trinity fell behind by 10 points in the first and 15 by halftime en route to their loss to the Lady Spartans.

“We dug ourselves holes in the game,” said Trinity coach Richy Spears. “We thought we were coming out of it, but we missed a couple shots and just never could get out of that hole.”

Although the Lady Saints outscored Prairie View 14-12 in the third quarter and matched the Spartans’ 14 points in the fourth quarter, the 16-minute charge was too little too late.

Spears said his team was still adjusting to play without Madeline Cross, who had an unscheduled appendectomy Thursday.

“The effort was there. I can’t ever fault them on effort,” he said. “(Prairie View) did get out of their press tonight. They tried to press us, but it didn’t work and they got out of it.”

Caroline Ketchings scored 19 points to lead the Saints, and Bethany Ogden added 17.

Caroline Oliphant led Prairie View with 26 points, and Logan Tubbs put up 12.

Ketchings and M.C. Iles were both added to the all-tournament team.

“They’re consistent,” Spears said. “They’ve been like that all year — M.C. with the defense and the hustle that she generates, and Caroline scoring wise.”

Trinity (22-15) will be the fourth seed in the MPSA Class AA State Tournament next week and will play the No. 1 seed from the North, Leake Academy.