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Trinity boys, girls advance to state finals

BENTON — Trinity Episcopal senior Madelyn Cross almost scored as many points by herself as Marvell Academy did as a team in Friday afternoon’s MAIS Class A State Tournament semifinal game at Benton Academy.

Cross finished with a game-high 19 points and Bethany Ogden had 13 points as the Lady Saints rolled past the Lady Eagles 43-22 to advance to today’s girls’ state championship game.

“Defense, defense, defense. We played very well on defense,” Lady Saints head coach Richy Spears said. “You can win some games when you hold teams to five (points) per quarter.”

Trinity Episcopal (28-8) will take on Delta Academy at 2:15 today for the state championship. The Lady Raiders defeated Riverdale Academy 45-39 in the other semifinal game.

But it wasn’t just defense that was a key to Trinity’s win. It was good free-throw shooting. Cross was 7-of-8 from the line and Ogden made all three of her free throws.

“That’s probably the best we’ve shot free throws in a couple of weeks,” Spears said.

Ogden ended up with a double-double as she pulled down 12 rebounds to go with her 13 points.

Trinity Episcopal boys 66,

Porter’s Chapel 48

BENTON — The Trinity boys followed their female counterparts later Friday night with an 18-point win over Porter’s Chapel.

Trinity’s win sets up a state championship showdown today at 7:15 p.m. with top-ranked and defending state champion Greenville Christian School, which defeated Heidelberg Academy 72-51 earlier in the evening.

Four players for the Saints scored in double figures and another came close to having a double-double. Tip McKenzie led Trinity with 15 points and Tanner Cage scored 12 points. L.J. Trimble and Kent King had 10 points apiece while Givonni Dent finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

Trinity (29-5) overwhelmed Porter’s Chapel with its athleticism and defensive intensity for much of the first half. The Saints led the Eagles 23-8 at the end of the first quarter and 43-21 at halftime.

The second half was more competitive between the two teams, but the 22-point halftime lead the Saints built was too much for the Eagles to overcome.

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