Both the Trinity men and women’s basketball team swept their games during the final weekend of January.
The women went into the weekend of home games ready and excited for the awaiting competition.
“I think Coach Cam and Joe did a great job of preparing us for Dallas and Colorado. We had a great week of competitive practices that got us ready for the weekend and we were excited to be playing at home again,” said junior Micah Weaver. “It’s always nice to have home court advantage because you’re playing in the gym you practice in every day and you’re excited to be out in front of your fans.”
They began the weekend strong, leading Colorado College 23-6 after 10 minutes. Despite some later momentum on the part of Colorado, Trinity won their third consecutive game with a score of 95-52 and the Colorado Tigers returned to Colorado Springs empty-handed.
“Our energy against Colorado was was a fun game and everyone was having a good time,” said senior Monica Holguin.
Cameron Hill, coach of the women’s basketball team, utilized the depth of his team in a game that saw great performances from a large number of players. Senior Elizabeth Balido scored 17 points, Holguin 15 and Weaver 13.
“I think my performance was mainly a combination of teamwork and my abilities,” Balido said. “A lot of my points came off of rebounds and second-chance opportunities. My teammates made it easier for me to get inside and really make a difference on the boards.”
With the University of Dallas in town on Saturday, the Tigers were able to continue their winning streak, defeating the Crusaders by 40 points.
Dallas started strong and managed to bring the score to a 27-27 at one point. However, Trinity had increased the lead to 51-32 by the end of the half. It was the beginning of the second half when the Tigers pushed forth with overwhelming momentum, scoring 21 points to Dallas’ 4.
“It was exceptional,” said senior Grace Horn, “It is fun to be a part of a team that enjoys watching each other succeed and participates in selfless celebrations.”
The women’s spectacular performance gave the dominant Tigers confidence for the upcoming competitions.
“It was a great confidence booster for all of us going into next weekend,” Weaver said.
In addition, the games of that weekend allowed the Tigers to prepare for the rest of the season.
For the men, the weekend also opened up against Colorado. Trinity began the game with aggressive offensive and spectacular defense, with a score of 33-14 at the half.
“Colorado had good shooters so we knew we had to play harder defense and limit good shot opportunities,” said junior Aaron Knopp.
Colorado outscored Trinity in the second half, but not enough to win, as the Tigers emerged victorious.
“I was very happy with the way our team played against Colorado,” said junior Matt Jones. “Any time you can beat the best team in the conference it is a good feeling.”
The Tiger men faced off against the Dallas in a tense matchup that left the audience dizzied.
After losing to Dallas during as the away team, the Tigers were ready to take control against the Crusaders.
“We had a bad game at Dallas’ court so we picked up our intensity for our home game,” Knopp said.
Tigers started strong, leading at the half 39-27.
“Whenever you have a large lead going into halftime, teams tend to play to protect the lead rather than play to beat them by more next half,” Knopp said.
The Crusaders, a team which has typically been difficult for Trinity to beat, came back with power in the second half.
“Dallas closed the gap because we lost a little of our focus and intensity that had gotten us the big lead in the first half. That has been our Achilles’ heel all year and we need to figure out how to stay focused and engaged all 40 minutes,” Jones said.
Maintaining focus throughout the second half has always been tough for the men’s team.
“Dallas was able to close the gap because we took our foot off the gas a little bit offensively since we were playing with a decent lead most of the game,” said Brooks Mays.
The game came down to the buzzer, going into overtime after a 66-66 score. In the first overtime both teams scored 6 points.
“There was a lot of tension but we all trusted in each other to pull out the win at the end,”said Knopp.
Emotions were high going into the second overtime. With one second left on the clock, the Crusaders had seemingly won with a score of 91-90. That is, until Mays made a basket as the buzzer rang out.
“I saw that we had a few seconds on the clock with the length of the court to go but knew it was enough time for somebody to get a shot off so when the ball came to me I knew I just had to get down the court as fast as I could and see what happens,” Mays said. “Luckily I got the shot off just in time and we were able to get the win. I felt pretty good knowing we had lost to them just seven days earlier after not giving our best performance in any aspect of the game so it was good to refocus and put together a good effort.”
The Tigers rushed onto the court to congratulate Mays as the fans cheered, the Dallas players standing there stunned.
“My first feeling after we won was just relief,” Jones said. “That team has seemed to be our kryptonite the last couple of years and I was glad we pulled it out and beat them this time.”