Joe Smith, Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Trinity turns up defensive intensity to rout Gilmer County 81-37

MORGANTOWN — Briston Bennett wants to put Class A basketball on notice: If you have the ball in your hands, you better watch out for Trinity Christian School.

“Each and every game, we know if we bring the defensive intensity — if we’re guarding the other team and rebounding — that’s when we’re at our best,” he said.

The Warriors brought the heat definsively as they hosted Gilmer County in the Class A Region II Section I quarterfinals Saturday, recording 11 steals and forcing over 20 turnovers en route to an 81-37 rout.

“That’s what we talked about before the game, no matter who you’re going to play, you have to come out with a defensive intensity, and you have to get on the boards,” Trinity coach John Fowkes said.

“We threw a bunch of different full-court presses at them, and they weren’t able to adjust, so we kept changing it up on them. We you keep switching up on teams like that, it messes with their mentality in their half-court offense.”

Following a stretch of four losses in six games — during which the Warriors allowed 60.1 points per game — Trinity has turned up the defensive effort a notch. Over the past five games, Trinity opponents have averaged just 37.8 points per game, and the Warriors have gone undefeated.

“This time of year we’ve been playing real good defense. The last five games, a team hasn’t scored more than 42 points against us,” Fowkes said.

In order to continue the trend, Bennett said the team must keep defensive prepartion at the center of their attention.

“It takes tremendous focus. We have a couple weeks here to make a statement, and we know it starts on defense,” he said.

“We focus on it in practice, in every single game, and if we keep the focus there, I know the intensity will be there too.”

With the win, the Warriors advance to the Section I semifinals, where they’ll host South Harrison at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.