Basketball CAS Round 4 versus Knox
“Trinity Opens dominate at Knox in a memorable day for The School”
Heading up to Knox always has its challenges; the drive, late pull-outs, and this year protocols, but Trinity stood taller than ever and produced some incredible results, winning eight of 12 games (1sts, 2nds, 5ths, 7ths, 9ths, 10ths, 11ths, 12ths). The four losses were by less than eight points, and with these outstanding performances by the Greens’ nine Opens teams head into the final round at Cranbrook in contention for CAS premierships.
“Trinity put in an inspiring team performance to topple an undefeated Knox”
The Firsts were simply inspiring up at North Wahroonga in their 9-point win (75-66) over a stunned Knox team who were undefeated at this point. The last time Trinity beat Knox on their home pine was way back in the 2016-17 season. Cristian Farr (12Mu) was at his best, getting the Greens off to a great a start scoring the opening two baskets and defending relentlessly. Trinity’s tough uncompromising defence was at its highest level, seeing the boys go in with the slightest of leads at the first break (15-14). Liam Isaako (10WJ) stepped up in the second quarter with some strong play around the basket, dropping seven points for the period and seeing the Firsts lead at half-time (35-32).
A sense of something special was unfolding saw Trinity extend its lead out to double digits at one stage with Jayden Woods (12Ar) drilling two big ‘3s’ in the third, while Noah Herden (10He) was again impactful off the bench with his physical play and huge 3-point basket from the corner to close out the quarter and have Trinity in front (57-51). Jesse Edwards (10WH) was again huge with his leadership and offensive punch, scoring 14 points after the break and taking on the Knox’s tall timber with some elite finishing. James Arthur (12WH) kept a Knox revival at bay as he too nailed a big 3 and a timely basket. A fast-improving Ollie Smith (11Ar) put his body on the line, taking a huge charge as Trinity’s trademark defence once again came up big at crucial moments. Backing up his outstanding game the previous round, James Andrews (12La) drilled the game clinching bomb from just inside logo range to see Trinity win an incredible game and be one win away from a CAS Premiership repeat.
The boys were challenged during the weak and to achieve something many Trinity teams have failed over the years, beating Knox on their home court. This win is a credit to each player on this team from the way they ensured two tough practice sessions during the week and the desperation they showed from players on the bench and on every inch of the court.
Jesse Edwards – 21 pts. 9 rebs. 5 asts
Jayden Woods – 18 pts. 10 rebs.
James Andrews – 17 pts. 7 rebs. 5 asts.
James Arthur – 6 pts. 6 rebs. 4 asts.
In what was a must-win affair, the Seconds exemplified toughness, resilience, and perseverance to overcome Knox on the road in a thrilling 6-point win (48-42). The first quarter was a physical affair, as both teams looked to get an edge, but the scores remained tied (11-11) after the first period. Anson Zhou (12Ke) spearheaded the Greens’ offence from the outset, scoring seven of his eventual 21 points in the opening term. Trinity jumped out early in the second, taking a quick 4-point lead thanks to Hugo Reed (11Ho) who provided an immediate impact off the bench through his poise and confidence with the ball. Trinity’s lead was squandered in the final minutes of the first half as Knox went on a 9-1 run to lead at the main break by seven points (23-16).
A desperate Trinity, with the season on the line, were determined to come back in the third quarter, as they considerably escalated their intent, which was guided by Seniors Alisi Leao (12Mu) and Rory Clunas (12Yo). Both boys were integral and relentless in defence and contributed offensively, combining for half of Trinity’s points in the quarter as Knox’s lead dwindled to two points (32-30). In the final quarter the Seconds applied their trademark half court trapping zone which bewildered the Black and Blues into six turnovers as Trinity nabbed the lead. With every basket the support from Greens bench was deafening which further spurred on the boys in defence. At one stage Trinity led by double digits, though that evaporated to four points in the last two minutes. Sam Payne (11WJ) then iced the game with two clutch-free throws. This victory cements Trinity a top two finish, though a win against Cranbrook would result in a CAS Premiership.
Anson Zhou – 18 pts 7 asts.
Rory Clunas – 9 pts 6 rebs.
Alisi Leao – 9 pts. 6 rebs.
Sam Payne – 9 pts. 5 rebs.
Arriving with an unblemished record (3-0), the mighty Sixths were primed to keep the streak going. Pete Mitrokas (11Mu) started with an almighty bang, dominating the paint to help establish our solid 8-point lead midway through the first half. Beier Chen (11Yo) showed some sparkling dribbling skills early and is learning the importance being engaged defensively, which gave Trinity an extra edge. Rupert Dobbin (12Du), Giancarlo Vari (11Ke) and Ari Tastsan (11Ke) were tenacious in defence and kept the scoreboard pressure to our advantage. However, ‘Captain Courageous’ Patrick Williams (12La) stole the show with his non-stop defensive press, superb driving and recovery (from multiple visits to the floor) to lead his men to victory. The Greens’ zone ‘D’ was effective at the back end of the game which allowed Andrew Yang (11Hi) and Brandon Lieu (11Ho) pinch some long baskets to help build our unreachable lead.
In a thrilling contest, Trinity won by three points to remain undefeated with one round left, in a high-energy performance led by Dom Feros (12WJ) and James Andrianakos (12Yo) who were at their athletic best, creating opportunities at both ends. Adam Makki (12La), Nicholas Kiceec (12WH) and Isaac Cunningham (12He) were excellent contributors in this away game where the 7ths outperformed their opponents.
In a tight away game, which went down to the wire, Trinity lost in dramatic circumstances in the last five seconds. Sam Waddington (12Mu) was outstanding, scoring 13 points, but also inspiring the team with his relentless effort at both ends. The Greens started very slowly, going behind by eight points, which is not a recipe for success up at Knox, before displaying a spirited fightback where hard-running James Kaye (12Ho) and the strong physical presence of Jack Gully (11WH) aided in this recovery. In the final moments Omkar Pednekar (12Ta) hit a clutch basket to tie the score up before Knox hit a free throw to snatch the game at the death.
Heading into the match the 9ths had a few injuries and boys on protocols to deal with. Although Trinity played the opening 15 minutes with just five players, the energy was great with some early points from Ross Oddie (11Fo) and Christian Falato (11Sc) who had a strong game throughout, scoring 11 points. Cody Lambert (11He) produced another solid all-round performance to see the Greens make it four straight wins by a team who are working hard for each other.
The 10ths were back to winning ways with a dominant performance against Knox, which has them 3-0 against CAS Schools. Another excellent performance and display of offensive and defensive rebounding came from James Mallios (12Hi), who scored 15 points for the game. A standout performance was from Joseph Cantlon (11St), who was on fire with 13 points, which included a mix of baskets from beyond the arc and attacking the rim. This satisfying victory also was Trinity’s highest score of the season (43points).
After a slow start, falling behind 10 points, Koda Sleiman (12Ta) pulled his team back into the game with strong baskets around the middle of the key to be level at half time. Strong defensive efforts from Aidis Exarhos (12WJ) and Evan Alexiou (12Ta) forced Knox turnovers and points for Trinity, which lead them to an 8-point victory.
In a tremendous win by the 12ths, Wilson Russel (12Ar) showed dominance at the rim, finishing over and around defenders with ease. Lachlan Stubbs (12Ho) excelled at the defensive end, blocking shots and deterring attackers away from the Trinity basket.
Heading into game, both teams were undefeated, which set up the stage for a memorable contest. Knox got off to a good start, getting to an early lead within the first several minutes. Jed Moor (WJ) helped Trinity get back into the game by crashing the boards hard, which Henry Mansfield (Ke) used to his advantage by attacking the rim aggressively, getting crucial scores to close out the first half. Entering the second half, Trinity were down by three points and knew they had to dig deep. Will Constanti (La) gave everything he had pushing himself to exhaustion on the defensive end, to ensure the 10As got stops late in the game. With 40 seconds left and down by two points, Trinity got the defensive stop they needed. The ball was quickly pushed up the floor and passed to Peter Tanevski (WH) who hit a three with 30 seconds left to put Trinity up by one point. However, Knox weren’t going anywhere, and they crashed the boards hard on offence, getting fouled with ten seconds left. They hit one free-throw and the game ended in an exciting draw (33-33).
It was a very competitive game against a talented Knox team, where the lead changed many times. With 17 seconds left, Trinity called a timeout and had possession in the front court. The Greens created multiple scoring opportunities to tie the game, only for the ball to unluckily rim out. Freddie Clunas (Yo) was the 10Gs’ main scoring threat, while William Deller (Ho), Max Charnock (He) and Peter Khoury-Harb (He) worked tirelessly looking to give the Greens an edge.
The Year 9A team played a tight back-and-forth game against ultimately pulling out a 2-point victory. Ethan Marten-Coney (Ho) was dominant throughout, blocking multiple shots at the defensive end while using his elite footwork at the other end to add 17 points. James Borg (He) was the clutch performer of the day, scoring a layup off a back cut to give Trinity the lead, then moments later blocking Knox’s potential game winning three to seal the win.
An all-around defensive effort saw the 9Cs grab their first win. Josh Awad (Ho) and Nass Awad (Ho) were phenomenal on the defensive end, making it tough for Knox to get any good looks. Theo Leckie (La) helped turn these stops into points, as he got down the floor to finish his many opportunities. Trinity are improving every game and ready to end the season on a high.
After a low-scoring half from both teams, the 9Ds came out after the main break with an unmatched intensity and ran away with the game. Noah Pernic (Hi) had the hot hand from mid-range whilst both Jake Matthews (Ke) and Isaac Irwin (Yo) were excellent in transition, consistently outrunning their opponents and setting up easy buckets for Trinity. Trinity showed great discipline in moving the ball around to see all players contributing.
This proved a tough loss for the 9Es, who like most teams in the Year group have to continually adjust with so much player movement. Ahmad Ammoura (We) stepped up on offence in his first game with the Es. Khaled Malass (Ta) provided a spark through his solid shooting.
Struggling to make shots, Trinity had to grind it out on defence. Joshua Falato (Sc) was able to get into the open court and attack the rim. Xavier Sader (Ta) played his role well on both sides of the ball, looking to impact the game in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, the Greens just couldn’t get their noses in front, falling short by just four points.
A total team effort saw the 8Ds grind out a close win in a low-scoring game which proved to be a battle of wills. The boys showed great patience and commitment on the defensive end, reading their opponents and forcing turnovers with quick hands and hustle plays from the likes of Austin Wu (We) and Ethan Hilton (Ta). With eight seconds to go and Trinity clinging to a 1-point lead, Aiman Malas (We) secured possession and was fouled. He then calmly sank the free throw to secure the tense victory.
The 8Fs travelled to Knox for a gruelling match and put up an excellent fight, but were just unable to clinch it, in the end going down by six points. Outstanding performances from CJ Nguyen (Yo) and Kevin Pham (WJ) must be noted, with both contributing equal amount of scoring and assists.
After a sluggish start, the Trinity offence was brought to life by Joseph Khor (Hi), whose unmatched speed allowed him to score and facilitate effortlessly in transition. Still trailing by a few baskets after halftime, Ahmed Aref (Hi) and Alex Ren (St) put the pressure on with physical defense and a fast-paced offence, tying the game with under a minute to play. Finally, Christian NG (WJ) – who led the Greens in scoring on the day – gave the 8Hs a 2-point lead with a last second shot, allowing Trinity to pull off the upset and extend their winning streak.
Another slow start for the 7As put them under pressure early. The boys were able to get back their composure during a timeout and came out with some fantastic defensive pressure that Knox were unable to handle. Special mention to Ezekiel Kho (Ar) and Charlie Earthrowl (Yo) for their outstanding efforts on the defensive end. Our lack of size due to a number of injuries proved to be a challenge, but credit must go to Thomas Ko (We) for stepping up on the defensive boards. Trinity didn’t get the result they were hoping for but should be commended for competing the entire game and fighting back from behind to stay in the game.
While still searching for their first win, the 7Bs efforts this season cannot be questioned. The Greens’ defence has taken a step in the right direction in each game and this was no exception. Hugh Labas (He) and Aaron Siva (Ke) were incredibly disruptive, pressuring the ball full court every possession. Jayden Rodger (Ta) continues to be an offensive spark for this team, creating for himself and his teammates in key moments of the game, as well as showing outstanding leadership. The 7Bs are hungry to get a win before the end of the season and their efforts so far have them well placed heading into their final game at Cranbrook.
The 7Js at Knox displayed grit and perseverance in a great team effort. Zayne Helou (Fo) was relentless with his defensive effort at both ends of the court. Dylan Rattanasone (We) was a dominant rebounder and Yuchan Lee (Ar) was strong offensively.
Ben Morrissey | Director of Basketball
TRINITY BASKETBALL RESULTS
CAS Round 4 versus Knox Grammar
|13 wins, 32 losses, 1 Draws