Improved team chemistry gives Holy Trinity teams reason for hope


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Holy Trinity senior guard Antwan Freeman, right, has stepped into a bigger role for the Tigers this season and it's paying off. Freeman hit the game-winning shot in an overtime victory against Melbourne Central Catholic earlier this season.

Carl Kotala

Ask members of the Holy Trinity boys and girls basketball teams where they have gotten better this season and you’ll get a similar response.

“We’re playing as a team more,” senior guard Antwan Freeman said. “I feel like we have more chemistry.”

Alinah Sarratt, an eighth-grade guard on the girls team, has noticed the same thing.

“It was a little bit more diverse last year, a little bit more on our own,” she said. “We work more as a team this year.”

That improved teamwork has led to a strong start for both teams.

The boys were off to a 5-1 start, including a thrilling 76-74 overtime victory against rival Melbourne Central Catholic.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors this year and a lot of those guys are trying to fill spots that they didn’t play last year,” Holy Trinity boys coach Steve Henderson said. “We’re really trying to figure out who we are. We’ve got a new offense. We’ve got some new kids playing different positions.

“I think early in the year, we’re just trying to continue to build up who we are and what we are.”

Freeman, who hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer to beat MCC, has certainly thrived in his increased role. So have seniors Javaris Johnson and Davarion Marvine. The Tigers also have gotten some strong play from sophomore Theo Mansell and junior newcomer Demetrius Robinson among others.

The Tigers and Hustlers likely will meet again in the district finals, and if their first meeting was any indication, it should be one heck of a matchup.

Likewise, the potential is there for a Holy Trinity-MCC matchup on the girls side, even though the Tigers have a very young team with only two seniors — Jordan Blair and Haley Forde — and junior Emma Bishop.

With Blair still waiting to make her season debut after recovering from an offseason knee injury and Forde getting back into the lineup after hurting her ankle, the Tigers have had to lean heavily on a group that includes Sarratt, freshman point guard Marisa Cloud, sophomore forward Ionna Garcia and 6-foot sophomore center Caroline Lacey.

The group has been working on improving communication on the floor, and as evidenced by an early-season victory against a previously undefeated Wade Christian Academy team. The Tigers can be dangerous when they can pressure their opponents and get their offense going as they did on that night.

If Holy Trinity can keep improving throughout the season, it could lead to quite an interesting postseason run for the Tigers.

“This year, we’re young, but we’ve got some talent,” Holy Trinity girls coach Jay Castillo said. “The future is really bright. We have mostly sophomores and freshmen.”