MORGANTOWN — The Trinity girls’ basketball team hit the locker room at halftime on Feb. 2, to exuberant cheers.
The Warriors led and had No. 3 Parkersburg Catholic on the ropes.
It wasn’t the first time Trinity head coach Mike Baldy had seen his team frustrate a top-ranked team.
He hoped this time around his team could seal the deal.
Baldy made his halftime adjustments, but a strong fourth quarter burst from Catholic led to a 68-55 victory for the visiting Crusaders.
“I think the execution is still not great,” Baldy said. “I made a halftime adjustment, and we came out and we didn’t adjust.”
The Warriors attempted to carry the momentum from a high intensity second quarter, in which Trinity outscored its opponents, 19-11, into the second half, but Catholic returned from the locker room with a vigor that proves its undefeated record is no fluke.
The Crusaders dropped a
23-point quarter on Trinity to retake a two-point lead heading into the final quarter, and opened the fourth on a 12-2 run, which placed the final nail in Trinity’s coffin.
“I thought we played well, we were within five most of the game, and they just went on a run late and we couldn’t come back from it,” said senior Emily Saurborn, who led Trinity with 21 points. “It fell apart when they went on that run at the beginning of the fourth, and we just didn’t score for two or three minutes.”
To Baldy, effort makes all the difference in deciding such close contests, and he doesn’t believe the effort from his squad is where it needs to be.
“We’re so proud of how hard the girls are playing, but we’re not playing at an extremely hard level,” Baldy said. “We need to play extremely hard to beat teams like Parkersburg Catholic.”
In his mind, Baldy divides the effort level into three classification, and he said he has yet to see his team perform at the top level he expects from them.
“We drew up a little diagram – we did lazy, 90 percent of teams, and teams that go to Charleston,” Baldy said. “Right now, we’re with 90 percent of teams. We’re not lazy, but we’re not playing hard enough to go to Charleston.”
“Our effort is not absolute, 100 percent max, and I think that’s what changed the game.”
The Catholic defense strangled the Warriors from start to end, laying on thick pressure and exposing a lack of court vision and awareness on part of Trinity.
“We need to work on controlling the basketball. We had a massive amount of turnovers, and even our best ball handlers were dribbling with their heads down,” Baldy said. “They’re great at controlling the ball, but when they have their heads down they’re missing open girls.”
“If we could control the ball a little bit more, those 13 points we lost by, we could have easily accumulated those points.”
Baldy believes if his team learns to string together tough performances for more than one half, his team can compete with the best in the state.
“We continue to put good halves together, and we know that we can do this,” Baldy said. “Now it’s just a matter of whether we can put a full four quarters together.”
Before the game, Trinity honored Saurborn, the lone senior on this season’s team.
“It was a great senior night, Coach Baldy and the girls did really well,” Saurborn said.