Trinity gears up for district tournament

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2010

NATCHEZ — By securing the No. 1 seed in MAIS District 6-A, Trinity Episcopal School accomplished one of its main goals for the season.

With that goal reached, the Saints are looking to do even bigger and better things as they are set to play in the 6-AA district tournament Friday.

“Getting the No. 1 seed was very important for us,” Saints junior Givonni Dent said, “because getting that seed was our No. 1 goal. We’re just taking things one step at a time.”

That next step will involve playing either Huntington or Tensas Academy Friday night, even though the district tournament officially began Monday.

“A big advantage in not having to play early is getting more practice time,” Dent said. “It gives us more time to get our game plan together, and get our heads together.”

And the mental aspect is probably one of the biggest things Dent has to prepare himself for, he said.

“Tournament play is just something you have to be used to. It’s hard to be used to it, but we made it all the way to (the state championship game) last year, so I’m personally used to it. But, for the younger guys who haven’t been there yet, it’s just a matter of preparing themselves mentally.”

Whether the Saints end up playing Huntington or Tensas Academy, Dent said the fact that they’ve faced both teams before helps them prepare.

“It’s easier to scout them, to know what they have, to know what they’re good at and not as good at,” Dent said. “It gives you a good feeling going into the game, knowing what to expect.”

Richy Spears, who coaches the Lady Saints, has a different take on the matter, he said. The Trinity girls are scheduled to play Tensas Academy Friday at 4 p.m., a team they’ve already beaten twice.

“We know what they do, but we’ve beaten them twice, so it might be an advantage for them, in terms of having to fight overconfidence,” Spears said. “I just don’t want us to overlook them. We need to bring the intensity, and that’s what I’m stressing in practice (Tuesday) and (today). We can’t let it get into a half-court game.”

The Lady Saints, who are seeded at No. 2 in the tournament, will be playing a Tensas Academy team that Spears classified as aggressive.

“They always play really physical,” he said. “They play hard, and are always up for the game. The way that we beat them the last two times is, we pressed the whole game, and we’ll have to be able to do that again. That’s what we do no matter who we play. We’re going to press until we get into foul trouble.”