Caston brothers produce offensively, ignite Trinity Saints
NATCHEZ — The start of the 2014-15 basketball season took one unlikely turn after another for the Trinity boys varsity team.
Before the season began, the school elected to go a different route and have Zach Rogel coach the basketball team instead of Edwin White, the reigning All-Metro Coach of the Year. Then, at the start of January, Trinity lost 2013-14 All-Metro Player of the Year Tommy McCoy because of personal reasons.
All of a sudden, the team was without both the coach of the year and player of the year in the region, but Rogel didn’t blink. Instead, he gave eighth grader Jakarius Caston more minutes, which helped Trinity win four of its next six games.
“We knew as a team that everybody had to pick up the load,” said Rogel of replacing McCoy. “It wasn’t something we talked about or that we decided to pass the torch to (Jakarius). He just seized it. It’s just in his skillset. He’s quick, man. He’s good with the ball, and he can get to the rim.”
Over the span of the last six games, Jakarius has a team-high 19 points per game. He even posted 31 points in one contest. Third on the team, behind Demond Fleming, is Jakarius’ older brother Kevontaye Caston, who has averaged 11 points per game over that same span.
Following the team’s 56-46 loss to Centreville Tuesday night, a contest Jakarius sat out of the second half after rolling his ankle in the second quarter, Kevontaye joked with his younger brother about being taller than him.
“I knew he was going to be taller than me,” said the sophomore to the grinning eighth grader.
The reason for Trinity’s quick turnaround to get back to a .500 record doesn’t rest solely on the Caston brothers. With Fleming and Cade Wells sharing the backcourt load, Rogel said the four players have provided a nice rotation at the forefront of the offense. However, the brotherly bond the Castons share on the floor doesn’t hurt either.
“It’s obvious that they have chemistry,” Rogel said. “The chemistry is something I see growing every game we play, though. With four quick guards out there, we’ve been able to get turnovers and transition points. That’s been our forte as of late.”
Their chemistry started at a young age when the two would play either alongside each other in youth basketball leagues or against one another in a pickup game in the backyard. Either way, the two always had a feel for what the other was going to do on the court.
“It’s kind of easy,” Jakarius said. “It’s something we’ve done all our life.”
Rogel acknowledged another secrete to the team’s successful battle against adversity has been the team’s willingness to share the load, not letting egos get in the way of producing winning results.
“The team sees (that Jakarius is talented), and they don’t have a problem with him starting,” Rogel said. “But then again, if we could win and Jakarius score zero, (Jakarius) would be okay with that too.”
Trinity hopes to improve to 8-7 tonight with a win against Tallulah Academy at home.