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Prep basketball: Trinity halts the advances

Knights have to hold off pesky Providence team

Posted: January 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Trinity’s Spencer Klehn (14) shoots against Providence Hall at Velocity Sports Performance on Thursday.

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Trinity Classical Academy hasn’t been forced to win many close games this season.

But on Thursday, the Knights had to hold off Providence Hall of Santa Barbara’s comeback bid in a 64-59 victory at Velocity Sports Performance.

The Knights came into the game with an average margin of victory of 16.2 points per game.

Early on, it looked like Trinity (10-5, 5-0) was going to breeze to their sixth straight win.

The Knights opened up a 23-9 lead midway through the second period.

Down 14 points, Providence Hall (5-6) increased its pressure on the Knights and started its comeback.

The Lions went on a 15-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 24-23.

“I think in any game when the other team ups the tempo the players on (our) team think they need to up the tempo (too),” said Trinity head coach John Brooks. “As our players got faster, they got careless.”

That carelessness turned into 20 turnovers for the Knights.

But Trinity center James Brooks, who was playing despite injuring his ankle on Tuesday, immediately took the lead back with a basket in the paint.

And the Knights never lost the lead again.

Brooks went on to score a game-high 20 points. Dakota Prochnow scored 17 points and Spencer Klehn added 12 points.
But none of Brooks’ points were bigger than his last two.

With under 35 seconds on the clock and a three-point lead, the Knights could run out the clock or force the Lions into fouling them.

Instead, Trinity appeared to commit its 21st turnover of the game when the ball went bouncing toward the sideline off a Knights player’s hand.

Brooks, though, showing no signs of his hurt ankle, outraced everyone to the ball and secured it along the sideline before being fouled. He would sink his two free throws to give his team a five-point lead.

“It was hurting,” Brooks said of his ankle. “But adrenaline kicked in and it stopped hurting. I knew I had to up my game.”

The Lions’ Nathan Dutcher would hit a layup with nine seconds remaining, but it was too little too late as the Knights’ Ryan Brooks hit two free throws to ice the game.

Four players scored in double digits for the Lions as Matthew Eaton led Providence with 18 points and Dutcher added 15 points. Preston Towers scored 12 points and Luke Gonzalez scored 10.

“We’ve battled back all through the year and were at our best when we applied the full-court press,” said Providence Hall head coach Keith Luberto. “When we executed it, we did great. But when there were holes they got easy layups.”

Two of those easy layups came in the final two minutes when Prochnow was left unguarded down the middle of the court for easy baskets to help maintain the lead.

And while losing such a large lead may not be ideal for Trinity, the Knights hope to take advantage of the experience.

“It’ll prepare us for playoffs,” James Brooks said. “Teams in the playoffs will be like (Providence Hall). Playing against them will help us in the long run.”


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