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Trinity boys win in convincing fashion without head coach

Trinity Episcopal School assistant coach Chris Bunio leads the Saints while head coach Zach Rogel serves a suspension after being ejected in a game last week.  Trinity defeated Franklin Academy 73-32. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Trinity Episcopal School assistant coach Chris Bunio leads the Saints while head coach Zach Rogel serves a suspension after being ejected in a game last week. Trinity defeated Franklin Academy 73-32. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The Trinity Episcopal Day School Saints celebrated another win Thursday night with a 73-32 blowout win against Franklin Academy, but a piece was missing — their head coach Zach Rogel.

Rogel was suspended after coaching a game against Tallulah Academy last Friday after being ejected from the team’s previous game against Centreville Academy.

Rogel is serving a four-game suspension, according to Trinity Head of School Les Hegwood.

Trinity also received official word Thursday morning they will be forced to forfeit their game against Tallulah, which they won, with Rogel coaching.

Assistant coach Chris Bunio took the reigns for the Saints, and they didn’t miss a beat against Franklin Academy.

After a tight first quarter, the Saints gashed the Cougars in the second and third quarters to pull ahead.

“What I wanted to do was slow down the pace for us so we could work on the little things,” Bunio said. “When we get into the south state tournament next week, we aren’t going to be able to beat teams just off athleticism and speed. We need to run through the offense and get a good feeling heading into the tournament.”

Demond Fleming poured in 20 points for the Saints in the win and Jakarius Caston added 18, with 16 of those coming in the second half.

Fleming, a freshman, and Caston, an eighth grader, are just two of Trinity’s young team this year.

“They are very young, and that is obviously going to be a factor,” Bunio said. “Right now, we are playing with ninth and tenth graders, and one eighth grader, who starts.”

But the youth didn’t show on the court. Trinity outscored Franklin Academy 32-9 in the second half as they cruised to their ninth win of the year.

“I was pleased for the most part,” Bunio said. “There are still some little things we need to work on.”

Trinity Episcopal (girls) 60, Franklin

Academy 34

NATCHEZ — The only thing standing between the Trinity Episcopal Lady Saints and an undefeated mark in district play was Franklin Academy, and the Lady Saints easily disposed of them Thursday, 60-34.

With the win, Trinity was crowned MAIS A District IV champions.

“I don’t think it really hit them until the buzzer went off and the T-shirts came out,” Trinity head coach Fay Minor said. “They were so happy. The school actually wanted to make sure that they had t-shirts for the game, and we will probably get a trophy or something later on.”

The Lady Saints raced to the bench to grab shirts that read ‘District Champions’ and smiles filled the faces of each player.

But Minor was quick to get her mind back to business, which is the south state tournament.

“I think we are where we need to be,” Minor said. “We just have to stay motivated and ready to go. I feel good heading into the tournament.”

The Lady Saints gained control early and held onto it the whole way.

Trinity opened the game on a 21-2 run and never looked back.

“We did great,” Minor said. “Our chemistry was good, and we were clicking really well.”

Jasmine Ivory led the way for Trinity with 14 points and Dionna Jackson chipped in with 13 of her own. Sloane Young also played a big role with 11 points.