Trinity boys, girls look for state titles

Published 12:19 am Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NATCHEZ — The Trinity varsity boys and girls are in the same boat.

While the ship certainly isn’t hopelessly lost at sea, it has managed to get slightly off course, and both boys head coach David King and girls coach Richy Spears are trying to right it.

The Trinity boys are coming off a 61-32 loss at the hands of Claiborne Academy, while the girls fell to Riverdale Academy 56-50. Both losses came Saturday in the MAIS Class A South State championship game.

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With those games now behind them, the Trinity boys and girls look to rebound today in the first round of the MAIS Class A state tournament at Delta Academy in Marks. The girls (22-9) are set to play Wayne Academy at 5 p.m., and the boys (20-8) will take on Prentiss Christian at 6:15 p.m.

King admitted Tuesday that he wasn’t entirely sure how good he felt about his team’s chances tonight after seeing his team lose by a 29-point margin over the weekend.

“Honestly, I don’t know how I feel,” King said. “We had such a poor showing out there against Claiborne that I just hope our boys will be more competitive and play harder. I’m just not sure right now. We’ll have to go up there and see.”

And King said he takes all the blame for the blowout loss.

“We need to be more prepared than we were last week, because I certainly didn’t have them prepared,” King said. “I hope I prepare them better, or we’ll be one and done.

“I had a poor game plan, and we got out-coached and out-hustled. That’s the bottom line. That’s not to take anything away from Claiborne Academy — they have a good basketball team. But we’ve got to be better prepared.”

King also said he’s not expecting the game against Prentiss Christian tonight to be any easier.

“They’re pretty athletic from what I hear. They’ve got a good basketball team. They’re quick and they shoot the ball well.”

Spears said the Lady Saints would have to contend with a Wayne Academy team that has good inside presence.

“They have a real good post player and a guard that can play,” Spears said.

“All teams are good this time of the year. If you go out there and have a lackluster performance, you’ll get beat. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”

Foul trouble was a major reason the Lady Saints lost against Riverdale last weekend, and Spears said his team would need to play smarter going forward.

“We’re trying to cut out some of the ‘correctable’ fouls, like not getting fouls 40 feet from the basket trying to get the ball,” Spears said. “I can deal with hustle fouls. My girls always play hard, but sometimes you have to play hard and play smart.

“We had three of our starters have to sit out in the third quarter with at least three minutes left. I put them back in with six minutes to go in the fourth, and with two-and-a-half minutes to go, all of them were sitting on the bench with five fouls.”

However, Spears also said he’s not one to harp on one game, and that he thinks his girls are capable of putting the loss to Riverdale behind them.

“I like to treat it like any other game,” he said. “We try to learn from it, but I’m not going to keep talking about it for two or three days. If you keep bringing it up, they’ll keep reliving it.

“This is when it’s time for the team leaders to step up, because how they go is how we’ll go.”