Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Trinity uses early run to pull away at Grand Valley

ORWELL—Trinity used a 10-0 first-quarter run to pull away from host Grand Valley in a 55-28 sectional championship-clinching win on Saturday.

The Trojans trailed the host Mustangs, 7-4, before using that run to take a 14-7 lead into the second quarter and they never looked back.

“We got rid of the nerves finally,” said Trinity coach Ron Donaldson, Jr. “We had some uncharacteristically missed layups, but they finally settled down. I pulled the pressure back, then they relaxed, and we were really able to hit our stride.”

Iniya Charlton and Nilah Thornton each scored six points in the first quarter to spark the Trojans, but both teams moved sluggishly through the second quarter that ended with Trinity leading 23-16 at the break.

Trinity amped up its defensive effort in the third quarter and outscored the Mustangs, 18-4, which sent the Trojans into the fourth leading, 41-20.

The Trojans forced 23 turnovers on the day.

“Defensively, we’ve always been good,” Donaldson said. “That’s who we are. We apply pressure for the entire game. We like to pressure in different ways. We want to create turnovers. Once we stopped committing silly fouls and locked into our fundamental defense, we were good from there.”

Three Trojans scored in double figures with Charlton, Thornton, and Neveah Harrison each recording 12 points in the win. Harrison and Charlton pulled down eight and seven rebounds, respectively, and Thornton posted four steals.

“This was major for us; we can’t rely on one girl to score,” Donaldson said. “We need multiple people scoring in double figures. I just think when they’re locked in, they give us so much; that’s the strength of our team. We have balance and depth.”

Despite the big win, Trinity has some errors to fix before its next postseason contest.

“Our half-court execution has to improve,” Donaldson said. “As we move on in the tournament, we have to be able to execute because there’s film on everybody at this point. (Teams) are going to try and take away what we do well, so we have to be able to execute in the half-court set.”

Trinity advanced to play Applecreek Waynedale in a district semifinal at Struthers High School on Wednesday.

The Trojans’ message moving forward is simple.

“I talk about maturity all the time,” Donaldson said. “We’re still a young team. I think, ultimately, it’s just maturity. If we’re mature, have the right mindset, and play good defense, we can play with anybody.”

Kendall Hughes connected on a pair of 3-pointers for all six of her points in the victory, and Isabella Dorsey scored five. De’Oshania Bennett and Jaila Wiggins added four points each for Trinity.

Grand Valley ended the season 16-7 and captured the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title.

Raegan Boiarski, Abby Eland, and Kaelyn Hart led the Mustangs with six points each.



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