Tigers proved doubters wrong


Holy Trinity boys basketball team had a chance of doing it again. Not only did the Tigers, shown here after winning the district title, make it back to the final four, they reached the Class 4A state title game. | PHOTO BY STEVE HENDERSONTheir season was a lot more than just getting back to the final four.

For the Holy Trinity Tigers, and their only senior, Josh Porteous, it was about proving the doubters wrong.

“It was definitely a special season,” Porteous said. “Not even because of the wins, but because of who we did it with, all the doubters, and how we did it.”

The Tigers may have come up a win short of their ultimate goal — winning a state championship — but they accomplished so much in getting there that there is really only one way to look at their journey.

Not long after the Tigers made the final four last year some of Porteous’ former teammates began telling him Holy Trinity wouldn’t even make the playoffs this year with such a young team and only one senior leading them.

“You can hear those things about your team often, but it’s about what you’re going to buy into,” Holy Trinity coach Steve Henderson said. “I don’t think our staff allowed that to happen, but I also don’t think the players ever bought into it. I don’t think Josh ever bought into it. It was his year and we were going to do what we needed to do to get as far as we could.”

A strong non-district schedule help the Tigers prepare to accomplish what no other Holy Trinity basketball team has ever done — go to back-to-back final fours. It was actually during a loss to top-ranked Master’s Academy that Henderson could see the tide start to turn.

When the playoffs began, Holy Trinity really began to turn it on with strong play from Porteus, Jashaun Corbin, Corey Kaplan, Tay Griffin, Brandon Schwab, Rey Idowu, Tyler Forde, Tyrel Harris, John Wills, Carter Wagner and Preston Milo.

“We went from a young team in those two to three weeks to a team that was starting to look like we could handle pretty much anybody that was going to get on the court with us,” Henderson said.

Not only did the Tigers make it back to the final four, they reached the state title game where they eventually lost to Bolles of Jacksonville.

It wasn’t the ultimate result they wanted, but just by getting there, the Tigers showed what a determined group can do.