Year 7 Trials
It’s always an exciting time for the Basketball program and the coaching staff getting their first look at what the future holds for Trinity, as new crop of young Trinitarians was put through its paces in the Year 7 Trials last week. They will now turn out for their particular team in their first game, against Cranbrook School (7A-J) , on Saturday.
I must stress to all the boys and their parents, that if your son didn’t gain selection in the team he needs to be patient, and continue to work on improving his game and have a positive attitude. It is extremely difficult to grade 110-plus boys into ten teams in only three short sessions. The boys must continue to work hard at training and make the most of their opportunities in the trial games on the following five Saturdays. There will be constant movement amongst teams when the coaches feel it is warranted.
18th Annual Trinity Challenge – 1sts Teams
The annual Trinity Challenge was held in the last week of the summer break, featuring Sixteen Independent Schools (CAS, GPS, ISA) from across the Sydney metropolitan area. Schools are ranked and broken up into pools, with each School competing for either the Championship or Plate divisions, which depends on where they finish in their prospective Pools.
Trinity went into the Challenge looking to build some momentum from the recent U.S.A Basketball Tour at the end of 2017. The Greens began the Tournament with a below par performance against Shore (40-64). An improved effort against Grammar (44-56) gave this young group some much needed confidence. The final Pool game of the day was against last year’s Championship winners St. Augustine’s, where Trinity played an outstanding game to defeat the northern beaches School by three points (62-59). Although Trinity finished on the same points as Grammar, and St. Augustine’s, their poor for and against saw them finish fourth in the group and in the Plate division.
The Green’s quarter final opponent was St. Pius’ X from ISA. Trinity were able to jump out to an early lead and stay in control for the majority of the game, to score a satisfying seven-point victory (62-55). CAS rivals Barker were next in line in the semi-final of the Plate. A much improved Trinity took it right to Barker in the first half to be down by only three points. In the end, Barker’s experience and depth proved the difference by knocking the Greens out of the Tournament (51-76). Barker then went on to win the Plate Division defeating St. Augustine’s by a single point (75-74).
In the Championship Division, GPS powerhouse Newington College went on to capture their seventh Trinity Basketball Challenge with a solid win over Riverview (65-59).
Newington Classic – 2nds and Development Teams
Trinity once again supported the annual Tournament at Newington, fielding two teams. The Seconds performed well, making it all the way to the Plate semi-final before going down to Sydney Boys’ High.
Unfortunately for the Development Team, their roster was not as strong as hoped, with some late withdrawals. Coach BJ Carter was very pleased with the small group he had with a number of the young players showing great promise against the older boys. They surprised a number of Schools with their aggressive play and ‘no fear’ attitude, which holds Trinity in good stead for the coming seasons.
Jonathan Zheng (12WH), Edward Li (11Sc), Thomas Buvac (9WJ), Jamie Christopoulos (9Ar), Hayden Johnson (9WH), James Andrews (8La) and Bailey Chambers (8Ta)
3rd Annual The King’s School Cup – Junior Team
The Tournament was once again a chance for Trinity Basketball players from different age groups (Yr. 7-9) to come together and develop for the future. The Greens were placed in a tough Pool featuring Cranbrook, St. Joseph’s, Shore, and King’s. In the opening game against Cranbrook, Trinity fought hard with tenacious defence but couldn’t get their offence flowing, resulting in a loss (21-32). Trinity then faced off against a strong St. Joseph’s side with both teams battling hard around the rim. Great composure in the final minutes from Jayden Woods (8Ar) and James Arthur (8WH) led to a great three-point win (28-25). This was followed by a fast paced game against King’s, who proved too strong for Trinity resulting in another defeat (33-41).
With the Greens out of contention, Coach Mr Dane Ristovski challenged the boys to finish on a strong note and against an older Shore group. The Greens were focused defensively, but their GPS counterpart proved too strong, in the end finishing on top (16-31). The key factor to come out of the Tournament was that Trinity may have been missing some of their more experienced players, the young group that stepped in showed that they can compete at this level and this will provide the Green and Whites with depth heading into the future.
Daniel Jackson (9Ta), James Arthur (8WH), George Robson (8He), Christian Farr (8Mu), Ethan Hunter (8WH), Jayden Woods (8Ar), Martin Wong (8Ta) and Ollie Smith (7Ar).
The Blitz format is an exciting fast-paced way for our Firsts, Seconds and A Teams to get ready for the second half of the CAS season. Each school plays four half games against all CAS Schools except the School they meet in round 6.
1sts Blitz @ Barker
Minus a few players through injury, Trinity headed into the annual Blitz looking to work on improving specific elements of their structures and playing with more physicality. The first twenty-minute game saw Trinity go down to Waverley (19-34) in a very fast-paced contest. More improvement followed in the match against Knox, with the Greens leading for most of the game only to falter in the final minute, going down by a point (17-18). Another close loss followed against St. Aloysius’ (20-24) before finishing off their fourth game with a loss to CAS frontrunners Barker (23-35).
The pleasing aspects to come out of the Blitz was the improvement of big Alec Mackenzie (11WJ) in and around the basket. His physical play and aggressive nature at both ends will serve Trinity well this term.
2nds Blitz @ Knox
Trinity 2nds will head into the second half of the CAS season with plenty of momentum after collecting three solid wins in the annual Blitz. The Greens proved too strong for St. Aloysius‘(13-6), Waverley (29-20) and Knox (20-9), but suffered a close loss against Barker (5-17) in the final game. Across all four games, Justin Jasa (12Ho) and Harrison Barden (12Yo) displayed their offensive control from the perimeter. Newcomer Marcus Buvac (12WJ) and Captain David Carreon (12St) were consistent at both ends of the floor, while Eddy Alcock (11WJ) provided intensity with his lock-down defence in what was a productive day for the Seconds.
10A Blitz @ Waverley
Trinity endured a challenging day of fixtures as a lack of match practice and fitness showed in their early Blitz games. A strong win against Barker (29-16) and determined performance against Knox (16-23) were the highlights from the four games, with the Greens finishing with 1-3 record. Joel Passerini (Hi) displayed his accurate shooting touch, whilst Ky Willoughby (WH) made a welcomed return from a long layoff with injury. He played with excellent intensity at both ends of the court.
Year 9A Blitz @ St. Aloysius’
Minus a number of players, the Year 9As put up a solid effort in the annual Blitz tournament. In the first game Trinity went down to Waverley (16-20) in a game where the lead changed on numerous occasions. CAS leaders Knox were the next match and the Greens showed plenty of heart to claw their way back to just fall short in a tenacious game (17-22). A mental lapse on defence in the dying seconds against Aloy’s cost Trinity the victory, with both teams remaining locked on points (14-14) as the siren sounded. The day finished on a positive note with a solid win over Barker (23-21). Over the four games Thomas Buvac (WJ) was a standout, while Jamie Christopoulos (Ar) rapid improvement continues as he develops into a genuine presence around the basket.
Year 8A Blitz @ Cranbrook
After a sluggish opening win against Waverley (19-17), the boys really turned the corner for the remaining three games with solid wins over Knox (21-11), St. Aloysius’ (26-19) and Barker (27-10). Trinity did a great job implementing some subtle changes to their basic offensive structure, playing with great patience and attention to detail with crisp ball movement and aggressive moves to the basket. Martin Wong (Ta) had a great Blitz tournament and seems to have improved in many areas over the summer break.
Ben Morrissey | MIC Basketball
U.S.A. Basketball Development Tour Report 2017
Members of the Trinity Basketball fraternity travelled to the United States of America during the early stages of the summer holidays. The 33-strong touring party flew into Chicago Airport to start what was soon to be one of the most unique and diverse sporting tours they will ever be involved in. With only a short trip from Chicago Airport to West Aurora High School, Trinity Grammar players were quickly paired with a billeting family and almost instantly became immersed in American culture. Before the bags were unpacked and their body reaching a state of equilibrium, many of the touring party were out and about meeting fellow students from their billeting High School. Even though best practice would suggest that players should have sleep, recovery and replenishment of what was lost during the long flight, the young men on tour can be forgiven for getting to know their new friends and sharing somewhat elaborate stories of kangaroos and koalas.
Roommates soon become opposition in the first games on tour and it was evident that there was no love lost in the battle for on court supremacy. This would be a process that the players would have to become accustomed to as the tour progressed. Although the specifics of each game can be read on the tour blog that will be attached below it should be noted that each and every member of the touring party provided such positive reflections of their first few experiences on tour and represented Trinity Grammar School with such dignity, class and character that the touring staff themselves could not have been more proud of them.
The Trinity Grammar teams would repeat this practice throughout middle America seven more times and on occasion be asked to play back to back fixtures in-between travel. Some of the amazing locations that were visited included Naperville, Roanoke, Morton, Marquette, Granite City, Highlands and Dekalb to name a few. Not familiar with these locations? Well neither were any of the touring party and that is what adds further value to this unrivalled sporting experience. The players managed to not only experience a new and very challenging style of basketball on tour they also managed to make lifelong friends, develop a level of autonomy that will hopefully transition into home life and ultimately to develop as young men.
The aforementioned developments did not just occur on the court or in the homes of their billets. The TGS touring group also managed to attend two different High Schools for the day and shadow a student through all academic and co-curricular activities. This was a real highlight for the players and provided them with a great insight into how the US students interact with their academic content and how they experience school life.
Alongside the fantastic opportunities outlined above, the team also had many ‘bucket list’ activities to been involved in while on tour. Some of the major experiences on tour consisted of the team attending Cincinnati College for a lecture on Sports Management and all things NCAA, watching two NBA games live, one between Oklahoma City Thunder and the Indiana Pacers (where we were allowed to go on the court and each of us cut a piece of the net down) and the second being between Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warrior which also included Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement ceremony. The team also visited Universal Studios and Disneyland on their last few days to really put the cherry on the top.
Special mention must go to Mr Ben Morrissey, Mr Chris Barnes and Mr Ben Treloar for their contributions to this tour, in particular Mr Ben Morrissey’s dedication, passion and vision in creating a tour of this size with such a unique set of environments and experiences for the touring party to be immersed in.
Please visit the blogger site for detailed match reports and further reflections.
Mr William Campbell | Tour Manager