Catholic battled back twice to take a key area game with Trinity 33-32. It was a very physical and defensive contest with Trinity striking fast with a quick 8-0 lead in the first three minutes. But then the Wildcats went into form reversal mode and committed 8 turnovers, opening the door for Catholic to come back. Pat Ryan came off the bench for the Knights and hit a 3-pointer that left the game tied at 10-10 at the conclusion of the first quarter. “Pat came off the bench and ignited this team. He lifted them up and we came back swinging. He is a tough competitor that gives his all, and it is contagious,” Catholic coach Mike Curry said.
After the first quarter the defensive struggle was on. Neither team scored in the second quarter until Trinity’s Andrew McNees hit a short jumper with less than 4 minutes to go.
The defensive struggle continued after halftime. Entering the final quarter Trinity managed to hold a slim 30-29. Catholic came back, not with an offensive flurry but an escalation of defensive intensity. The Knights secured the area win when a long Trinity shot missed at the buzzer. “Win, lose or draw I am proud of them. They played with such determination all night long. They had the energy and showed they wanted to win,” Curry remarked.
It was a tough pill to swallow in the Trinity camp, especially after blowing a big lead at the beginning of the game. “That has what has happened to us all year long. The inconsistency. We play great basketball for several minute and then we start with the turnovers and other mistakes. When we go through that phase we actually help our opponents get back in the game. And that is exactly what happened tonight,” Trinity coach Matt Arrighi said.
Both teams shot poorly from the free throw line. The ‘Cats and Knights both failed to shoot even 50% from the charity stripe.
The Knights improve to 5-8 overall. Trinity has now lost 4 consecutive games and slips to a 6-8 record overall. On January 11 Trinity will play Saint James and Catholic will square off with ACA in area games.
Trinity girls vs Catholic
Catholic girls surged to an early 6-2 lead in an important area game Friday night with Trinity. But all of that changed after the first few minutes. For the balance of the first half the Wildcats would outscore the Knights 32-3 and from there coasted to an easy 52-25 victory.
Brooke Avant led the Wildcats with 15 points including some excellent 3-pointers. Older sister MacKenzie Avant also contributed beyond the arc. Emma Kate Smith tallied 13 points and garnered 10 assists. Lorren Pharrams led Catholic with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Jamya Henderson chipped in 6 points.
The difference in the contest was easy to see. Catholic committed a whopping 34 turnovers, more than one per minute. It has been the same problem that has plagued the Knights throughout the season. “I don’t know anyway other way to say it, we are not taking care of ball. I know we haven’t played in a while, since Christmas, and maybe that had something to do with it tonight. I know we need to get more games in to gain experience, but the turnovers are still killing us,” Catholic coach Jill Clark said.
Trinity not only had a big night on the scoreboard but a big defensive night as well. The pressure on Catholic was extreme most of the time, especially in the first half. “I really liked our intensity in the first half and we played well early. We play better when we play the up and down the court game and move the ball. I was glad to see our press work so well. I think our players did a great job keeping a choke hold on Catholic,” Trinity coach Blake Smith remarked after the Wildcats win
What was equally impressive about Trinity is the big reduction the Wildcats made in committing turnovers. Wildcats committed half the turnovers they made the week before in a game with MA. It was comforting to Smith. “We did make a big improvement in that department. We still need to work on that part of our game. When you hold on to the ball you get more shots and tonight I think that help us get more open shots, especially in three point range.”
Trinity goes to 10-6 overall and Catholic slips to 3-6. The Wildcats will face Saint James in area battle this week. The Knights have an area contest with ACA.