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.
Ryan and Darian Riley led Catholic with 8 points each. Riley had a half dozen rebounds on the night. D. J. Carter and 6 points and 6 steals. Jalen Thomas scored 6 points and snared 4 rebounds. For Trinity McNees led the ‘Cats with 10 points and Will Aaron had 8 points.
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.