Holy Trinity boys eyeing another deep playoff run
As the only senior on this year's Holy Trinity team, Josh Porteous has taken on more of a leadership role. The young Tigers, who have only one senior, are expected to get stronger as the season goes on. Photo by Carl Kotala
Josh Porteus is the only senior on the Holy Trinity boys basketball roster, and the only player who saw major minutes on a Tigers team that went to the Final Four last season.
So how far does Porteus think the Tigers can go this year?
“I think we can go right back (to the Final Four),” he said. “It’s just (a matter of) how much work we put in. We don’t have as many scorers, or seniors, but I think we can get there.
“Our team’s special. It’s just how hard we want to work and how we want to play that night.”
The reason for Porteus’ bright outlook, despite graduating six players from last year’s team, is a young roster that will only get better as the season goes on. That group includes freshman forward Seth Coleman, freshman guard Tyrel Harris and sophomores Jashaun Corbin (guard), Brandon Schwab (guard) and Tyler Forde (sophomore).
The Tigers have also been bolstered by the transfers of sophomore guard Carter Wagner, junior forward Corey Kaplan and junior center Rey Idowu.
“I think we have a really good core group,” Tigers coach Steve Henderson said. “We’re just trying to teach them how to practice hard, how to compete and then try to get them ready for the playoffs.”
The Tigers’ brand of high-intensity, up-tempo play that stresses defensive pressure is a hard one for opponents to prepare for. Just watch them play and you’ll understand just how in shape you have to be to play for this team.
“Our conditioning is crazy,” Porteus said. “That’s all anyone talks about, our conditioning. It’s nuts."
However, when the Tigers are on their game, it’s that conditioning that really pays off.
“If we’re playing real well, we don’t even have an offensive set,” Porteus said. “We just play defense, get rebounds and (score) in transition.
“That’s what our offense is — transition, try to outrun people and get them tired. We feel we’re more conditioned than anyone else.”
With so many talented young players on the roster, this is a group that could be competitive for the next few years once they all come together and get used to the system and playing as a team.
If that comes together this season, and Porteus obviously thinks it will, the Tigers could be dangerous.
“I think the talent’s there,” Henderson said. “We lost a lot of pieces but if they can come together … it’s all about staying healthy and matchups and how we’re playing at the end of the season. That’s the thing. The season’s so long and the highs and lows of your team change weekly, so a lot goes into it.
“But I think if they come together and start believing in each other and playing together, they have the potential to be a special group.”