T helps Lady Saints get W
Published 1:30 am Saturday, December 12, 2009
NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal varsity girls head coach Richy Spears had a few choice words with one of the officials, which quickly drew a technical foul.
However, even though opponent Oak Forest made both free throws to give it its first lead of the game, the long-term effect of Spears’ foul for the Lady Saints was actually positive.
“Our intensity picked up after I got my T,” Spears said. “We were playing (sluggish), but after that we picked up the intensity and started attacking more.”
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The Lady Saints rode the momentum the rest of the game and would go on to win 54-46 Friday.
“This was a big win for us,” Spears said. “Last year, they had our number and we’ve kind of built a friendly rivalry (with Oak Forest). It was a good win.”
Trinity led 29-23 to start the second half, but watched that lead slip away as Oak Forest went on a 10-2 run in the first five minutes of the third quarter. After tying the score 33-33, Spears’ technical sent Jessica McKlendon to the line for Oak Forest.
Trinity managed to hold Oak Forest to just two points after the free throws, and scored five more itself, giving the Lady Saints a 38-37 lead going into the fourth.
The fourth quarter belonged to Trinity’s Brandis White, who scored nine points in the final eight minutes, four of which came on key free throws with under a minute to play.
White hit a two-pointer to open the fourth quarter. Oak Forest’s Kallie Populis responded with a two-point basket, but White came right back and banked a three-point shot with 6:34 left in regulation.
Trinity and Oak Forest both scored seven points in the next six minutes, making it a 50-46 game in favor of Trinity. Oak Forest began fouling, which sent White to the line twice, and she put the game out of reach by banking all four of her shots.
White finished with 25 points for Trinity. Madeline Cross added 21 points.
“The way those two played down the stretch was special,” Spears said. “There’s nothing else I can say other than that. They played intense, knew the situation and had the will not to lose.”
The Lady Saints improved to 7-2 on the season, and Spears said the schedule his team has played should help it improve as the season goes on.
“We’ve gotten three wins over Class A teams, one over a Class AA team and three over a Class AAA team. We play these games to get better down the line.”
Oak Forest 70, Trinity Boys 61
Jivonni Dent led the Saints with 27 points, but it wasn’t enough as Trinity fell to Oak Forest.
R.J. Fleming added 12 points for the Saints.
Oak Forest was led in scoring by Drew Misita, who tallied 22 points. Baylor Blanchard added 17 points and Jordan Wilkerson had 14 points.
Trinity fell to 2-2 on the season.