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Trinity boys, girls eliminated in Overall

CLINTON — For the second straight season and the sixth time going back to the 1977-1978 season, the Trinity Episcopal Lady Saints failed to make it out of the first round of the MPSA/MAIS Overall Basketball Tournament.

This time it was six-time MAIS Class AA state champion Leake Academy that kept Trinity Episcopal from advancing to the semifinals. But it wasn’t as easy for the Rebelettes as expected as they held on for a 51-43 win over the Lady Saints Tuesday afternoon at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.

Trinity was looking to avenge a 67-43 loss to Leake Academy on Dec. 27 at the Brookhaven Academy Tournament in which Jenny Wilbanks had her way with the Lady Saints on that day. But as head coach Richy Spears said, it just wasn’t meant to be.

“They were pretty good. I thought we played as hard as we could. We had our chances. We just didn’t finish them. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we should have,” Spears said.

Even though the Lady Saints’ defense held Wilbanks to a game-high 21 points, Spears said she still had a big game for the Rebelettes.

“We knew she was going to have a big game. She hits 3s. She’s 6-1, 6-2. She’ll post you up,” Spears said.

Madelyn Cross led Class A runner-up Trinity (28-10) with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Bethany Ogden scored 14 points and Margaret Ward had eight points.

The main problem for Trinity was its inability to make open shots, especially in the first and third quarters. The Lady Saints scored just nine points in the first quarter and trailed by five at the end of that quarter. In the third quarter they put up only eight points, but their defense kept them in the game by giving up just 10 points to Leake Academy.

Leake Academy went into the fourth quarter leading Trinity 32-27. And in the high-scoring final quarter, the Rebelettes outscored the Lady Saints 19-16.

“They’re (undefeated) for a reason. We didn’t make shots when we had the chance. Defensively, I thought we played well. But we couldn’t keep relying on the defense,” Spears said.

Anna Nowell and Shelby Howard added eight points each for Leake Academy (43-0), which will take on the winner of this afternoon’s game between Riverdale Academy and Jackson Academy in the semifinals Friday at 1 p.m.

Marshall Academy boys 64, Trinity Episcopal 52

CLINTON — Marshall Academy had a lot of momentum on its side heading into the MAIS Overall Tournament after winning its first Class AA state title since the 2001-2002 season.

Trinity Episcopal, on the other hand, came up just short of winning its first Class A state title in 31 years in a one-point loss to defending champion Greenville Christian. The Saints were looking for more than a good showing at Overall.

And after three quarters, Trinity was right with Marshall Academy. But the Patriots dominated both ends of the court in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 12-point win Monday afternoon in a first-round game.

There were several lead changes between the Saints and the Patriots during the first three quarters. The first quarter ended with Marshall Academy clinging to a 16-15 lead. But Trinity used an 18-16 advantage in the second quarter to take a 33-32 lead into halftime.

Marshall Academy started to take control of the game late in the third quarter and ended up outscoring Trinity 17-14 for a 49-47 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Saints couldn’t get their shots to fall and the Patriots continued to use their balanced scoring to keep the Saints from keying on one or two players. The Saints scored just five points in the final eight minutes while the Patriots put up 15 points.

Foul trouble was another thing that plagued Trinity Episcopal. Marshall Academy (32-7) had 32 free-throw attempts and made 25 of them.

The Patriots were led by Dakota Dailey with a game-high 15 points while Kevin Fitzpatrick and Jordan Brock added 12 points each and Taylor Maurey chipped in with 10 points. They advanced to the semifinals and will take on the winner of tonight’s West Memphis Christian/Madison-Ridgeland Academy game on Friday at 6 p.m.

Givonni Dent was the leading scorer for Trinity Episcopal (29-7) with 14 points. Tip McKenzie scored 11 points and L.J. Trimble had 10 points.

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