By Chris Goltermann
Trinity Christian basketball teams knew the type of challenge in store heading into Tuesday’s games against a pair of ranked lineups from Region 5-A opponent Greenforest Christian.
The Eagles, with five players over 6-foot-5, and Greenforest’s girls, with a trio over 6-0, indeed presented a tall order.
Yet both home squads each went to halftime with some confidence carrying a lead after strong second periods.
That’s, however, when Greenforest elevated its game, limiting Trinity teams offensively in the final 16 minutes en route to a sweep that included a 49-39 win by the girls and a 57-48 win by the boys.
Trinity had to settle for moral victories after pushing leads deep into the second half.
But Greenforest chipped away, cutting its deficit to 32-29 to begin the fourth and limiting Trinity to a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter. The Lady Eagles broke a 36-36 deadlock with 4:10 to play on senior Destiny Cressy’s three-pointer then continued to push the ball inside to seniors Daria Green and 6-3 All-State center Aminata Ly.
Fourman finished with 11 points and Kimmie Galka added six for Trinity’s girls, who fell to 5-9 overall and 0-3 against opponents in 5-A, which includes four ranked girls teams led by No. 1 Wesleyan (20-0), No. 3 ELCA (13-3), and No. 4 Holy Innocents (9-7).
The Lady Lions’ effort, however, wasn’t lost on head coach Joe Daniels at the finish against No. 9 state-ranked Greenforest (15-3, 4-0).
“I’m just so proud of my girls. That’s what I told them afterward,” he said. “They fight. This is a top-three team in our region.”
The Eagles (13-4, 6-1), meanwhile, were ahead of four ranked schools including Trinity’s boys from 5-A heading into this week, and it showed early in the boys contest.
Greenforest used an 11-0 run late in the first quarter to push an early double-digit lead behind eight of Nate Brown’s team-high 17 points. It was finally halted when junior Brady Burnett connected on a three-pointer from the corner prior to the buzzer off a feed from Tyler Whitfield.
Trinity’s deficit, however, swelled to 26-11 after another eight-point surge by the Eagles capped off by 6-8 junior Achor Achor’s dunk.