Following a disappointing loss at home to St. Anthony’s, Holy Trinity came into Sunday evening’s matchup against Baldwin with something to prove.
“I feel like some people were writing us off a little bit,” Thornton Scott said.
The Titans took the lead late in the first quarter and didn’t look back on their way to a 57-52 victory over the Bruins in the Gary Charles Hoop Classic at Adelphi University.
“It was a statement game,” Scott said. "We came out with a lot of energy. We also had confidence in ourselves. We knew how good we were and maintained it throughout the game.”
Holy Trinity (8-3), ranked No. 6 on Long Island by News 12 Varsity, found itself down 15-10 late in the first quarter. Scott (16 points) answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 16-15 at the end of the first frame.
The Titans began the second quarter with four straight points from Tim Callaghan and Tyler Small (16 points) to go ahead 20-15.
Trailing, Baldwin (7-1), ranked No. 2 on Long Island and No. 20 in the Tri-State by News 12 Varsity, struggled to get its offense going. The Bruins scored six points in the second frame and trailed 25-21 at the half.
Holy Trinity began the third quarter on a 12-1 run, led by six points from Taj Jenkins (8 points) and four points from Cam Wynter (11 points), to increase its lead to 37-22.
“Taj (Jenkins) always comes up big for us,” Small said. “Cam’s driving ability opens up the floor for us.”
The Titans defense was able to force turnovers and hold the Bruins offense in check taking a 39-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
Down 50-42, Baldwin’s Jabeon Bivins, who scored a game-high 17 points, tallied six of the game’s next eight points to cut the Holy Trinity lead to 52-48.
Following a pair of free throws by Small, Bivins and Derrick Ruffin scored consecutive baskets to make it a two-point game, 54-52.
Baldwin trailed 55-52 with under five seconds left, but the Titans defense caused a turnover.
Both teams struggled with fouls and turnovers in the last stanza. Small credited the team practicing different game situations in able to survive Baldwin’s comeback attempt.
“That comes from practicing hard and good coaching,” he said. “The coaches put us in a lot of situations and we were able to execute today.”
Holy Trinity came into Sunday’s contest wanting to show it could compete with the best on Long Island. It did. Following a tough league loss, the Titans took the lead late in the first quarter and didn’t look back despite being tested throughout the game.
“We wanted to come in and make a statement,” Small said. “They’re just as tough as the teams in our league. It’s going to prepare us going forward.”