Holy Trinity boys working out early-season kinks as they prepare for postseason

Theo Mansell is one of three seniors on this year's Holy Trinity boys basketball team. The Tigers are counting on the leadership of Mansell, Eric Parnell and Jadon Gowins to lead them into the postseason.

 

There is nothing Holy Trinity senior forward Theo Mansell would like better than to prove the doubters wrong.

“That’s what makes me play harder,” Mansell said. “Everybody’s talking about how we’re not going to be good. We’re going to show them.”’

The Tigers, traditionally one of the top boys basketball teams in Brevard County, got off to a slower-than-usual start to the season at 4-5. But keep in mind, the Tigers have played a brutal schedule and … they’re only going to get better.

“Definitely, we will keep getting better,” senior guard Eric Parnell said.

Mansell, Parnell and Jadon Gowins are the only seniors on this year’s team.

Sophomore point guard Elijah Reynolds is back along with junior forward Jack Combs, but the Tigers will have to rely a lot on their senior leadership and the integration of younger players.

“I think at the beginning of the season we’ll probably see a little more kinks than normal, but my expectation is that they’ll get more comfortable as the season goes on and we’ll be ready around playoff time to be a competitive team,” Tigers coach Steve Henderson said.

Expect the Tigers to continue to emphasize defense and play up tempo with perhaps more shooters than they have had in the past thanks to the addition of players like eighth-grader Caleb Gaskins, whom Henderson said is a great 3-point shooter.

“He’s 6-(foot)-5, extremely talented,” Henderson said of Gaskins.

“Elijah Reynolds shoots it really well. Then we’ve got Cole Chanda and Tyler Costin and Sammy Chaffiot, along with Eric Parnell. We’ve got some guys who can shoot it. We’re just getting comfortable within the offense. It’s kind of showed early in the season with some sloppy play, but hopefully we’re going to build on that.”

In order for the Tigers to get back to the top of their game, Mansell said “(We’re going to need) everybody to buy in and have high energy. And we can’t be scared to play. We have to get that underdog mentality.”

Added Parnell: “We have to go into the game with a lot of confidence and know that the team is not just going to hand us the game.”

With two final four appearances in the program’s history, the Tigers are certainly not a team that should be overlooked, particularly in a Class 3A, District 9 that includes Cocoa Beach, Edgewood, MCC, West Shore and New Dimensions of Kissimmee.

“We’ve already played two district games early in the year, which were Cocoa Beach and West Shore,” Henderson said. “I think we’ll be strong in our district. Really, our goal is to get out of districts and see how far we can go in the (state) playoffs.”