Holy Trinity boys eye third straight final four


Holy Trinity's pressure defense often leads to fast break baskets like this one from Jashaun Corbin during a game against Palm Bay.

Carl Kotala

When you’ve been to the final four for two straight seasons, it’s easy to think a third consecutive trip is in your future.

But as Holy Trinity boys basketball coach Steve Henderson has been telling his team this season, don’t take it for granted.

“There’s a lot to do between now and then to get back there,” Henderson said. “It just doesn’t happen. We’ve got a really hard district and our region is extremely talented. We added Windermere Prep which won the (Class) 3A state title last year and they’re returning everybody, too.

“To get back to the final four, it’s a long road. It’s obviously a goal, but we’re just trying to stay grounded right now and get better every day. Because if we don’t, there’s no chance of it happening.”

Fortunately for Henderson and the Tigers, they still look like they have their feet planted firmly on the gas pedal.

Holy Trinity was off to a 9-1 start using their high-pressure defense and a roster that features all but one player from last year’s team that reached the Class 5A state title game.

That lineup features Cory Kaplan, Jashaun Corbin, Tyler Forde, Tay Griffin, Seth Coleman, Brandon Schwab, Rey Idowu, Tyrel Harris, John Wills and Preston Milo.

There’s also one key addition – senior guard Tony Jenkins.

“He’s brought a big spark for us and filled a big role,” Henderson said. “Just a really good kid. Athletic. Comes and works really hard. He’s been a great addition.”

When the Tigers are playing well, they’re creating turnovers and getting plenty of transition baskets – with a few 3-point shots thrown in for good measure.

Kaplan, who transferred to Holy Trinity last year, remembers all too well what playing in a final four is like.

“It was unreal,” he said. “The atmosphere … it seemed like the whole school came and supported that state championship game. It was crazy to see everyone there.”

That’s why the Tigers aren’t taking anything for granted. They know how hard it is to get there ... and they want another crack at that title.

“We definitely want to get back for the third year in a row,” Kaplan said. “I think we can do it. We’ve just got to play as a team through the whole year, stay sound defensively.”