- Gainesville, FL. Written by: Kyrin Mayfield
Continuing with the Class 5A district 5 tournament, the Trinity Catholic Celtics took on the South Sumter Raiders in the second game of the day.
The Celtics were a pain for the Raiders earlier in the season. They won both games by a score of 75-26 and 58-38.
South Sumter ended the regular season on a high note, though. They won their last three games, with their last two wins coming by an average of 25 points. Hitting their stride at the right time. However, Trinity Catholic was doing the same by winning their previous nine games, six of them by at least 14 points.
Add to the fact that the Celtics are 9-1 at home this season and beat South Sumter in their last five meetings, this was going to be a difficult hurdle to overcome for the Raiders.
Trinity Catholic averages 20 points per game in the first quarter. The scoring quickly started to try and meet that average with Trinity Catholic’s Montez Leath’s four-point play. He drained a three and made the free throw after being fouled. That led to a 12-2 run by the Celtics just two minutes, in. South Sumter quickly called a timeout. The lead had grown to 18-2, but the Raiders went on a mini run of their to close out the quarter. They were down 25-8. Trinity Catholic finished the quarter with six steals.
The Celtics went on another run to start the second quarter and increased their lead, 35-8. South Sumter answered with a 7-0 run and slowly ate away at that 27 point deficit. Trinity Catholic went into the locker room with a 43-28 lead.
Stop me if you heard this one before, but another run by Trinity Catholic early in the third quarter pushed the lead, 57-33. Leath hit multiple shots from behind the arc in the left corner. A bright spot came for South Sumter when Doug Sharp lobbed the ball to Bryce Welcome who slammed it down for what looked to be an effortless alley-oop. Trinity Catholic still led 67-39.
Some things never get old, like Trinity Catholic runs to open the quarter. The 11-0 run gave them a 39-point lead, doubling the score of South Sumter. They went on to win 86-49.
Trinity Catholic head coach Carlos Villalobos was critical of his team despite the big win.
“We played poorly.” he said. “Especially in the middle stretches of the game. We got sloppy. We were very undisciplined. I told them we can’t play like that Friday night. We do that and we’ll be in trouble.”
Despite a big win, he knows there’s always room for improvement.
The Celtics had 16 steals in the game and out-rebounded the Raiders 28-20. Jarvy Gainey had 26 points and 6 steals for the Celtics. Leath added 22 points with five drained treys and 7 assists.
South Sumter (11-10) ends the season with a winning record. Trinity Catholic (20-5) takes on The Villages (19-7) tonight (2/15) for the district championship. Each team won a game during the two-game season series.
Villalobos knows his team has the fundamentals down to beat a talented team like The Villages.
“You just have to be disciplined and do little things versus that team,” he said. “They’re well-coached and have talent. If you don’t do little things you won’t come out on top.”