The potential is obvious.
The Holy Trinity boys and girls basketball teams have the kind of talent that could make for a long postseason run if everything goes right.
“We’ve got some awesome girls,” Holy Trinity girls coach Jay Castillo said after his team rallied to defeat Viera last month.
“We’ve got to keep working on our mental toughness. I think that’s where it is. Athletically, we’re great. They work hard. It’s just when things get tough — like today — I think we showed good mental toughness. We didn’t fall apart, where I think last year, we fell apart a lot.”
The Tigers were off to a 6-2 start, and that was despite playing without two key players — Ionna Garcia and Kiki Norris. Once healthy, those two will re-join a lineup that includes point guard Marissa Cloud. Now a sophomore, Cloud has been playing varsity basketball since the seventh grade.
Other top players include Alinah Sarratt, Caroline Lacey, Armoni Peppers, Lynn Reith, Laila Cohen, Izzy Bush and Catalina Castillo.
Reith, a transfer from MCC, has brought an outside shooting presence and a strong defensive effort to the Tigers.
“We’re really young, but we’re really mature on the court,” Reith said.
“It’s a really big step up. We’re a young team, but we’re on the come up.”
So much so, that Reith believes the Tigers have a chance to win their district and get to the state tournament.
Holy Trinity’s boys also have big plans, and a number of new players to help them get there.
Jonathan Bowden, Jack Combs, Elijah Reynolds and Buay Toang have joined a Tigers team that also includes Demetrius “Meech” Robinson, Theo Mansell, Davin Wydner, Jadon Gowins, Sammy Chaffiot and Eric Parnell.
Holy Trinity was off to a 7-0 start with wins against Rockledge and Boone and were ranked 12th in the state by MaxPreps, despite getting used to all of the new players in the age of COVID-19, which wiped out some of the offseason preparation.
“The hard part is, we didn’t play all of those summer league games,” Holy Trinity coach Steve Henderson said. “So you constantly feel like you’re behind. We still haven’t put all of our offense in. We’re taking it piece by piece, not trying to rush anything.
“You feel behind, but I think we’re doing exactly what everybody else is doing, trying to put it all together. We’re just trying to rely on our conditioning and do some things defensively.”
Henderson called it a “good group” that pushes each other. Robinson said the Tigers’ strong team chemistry and communication could take them a long way.
“When we’re all going at it, especially on defense, and our energy is really high, I don’t really see anybody really stopping us but ourselves,” Robinson said. “Coach tells us all the time, we’re our biggest enemy.
“If we just keep going, putting the gas on every team we play — playing hard, playing … as coach says, Holy Trinity basketball — the job always gets done.”