CANONSBURG – New Trinity girls basketball head coach Bob Miles finally got the chance to make his debut on the Hillers’ bench and fittingly had to do so against crosstown rival Washington.
Miles spent years as the Fort Cherry head coach before taking the Trinity job this offseason and got off to a good start as the Hillers jumped out early on the Little Prexies, then withstood a late Wash High charge to hold onto a 44-40 victory in the opening game for each team in the EQT Energy Classic.
“It was special,” said Miles. “Not only starting out against a rival, but the girls were really excited for it. Any time that you can start with a win like that it is special.”
After the Little Prexies scored the game’s opening basket, the Hillers went on a 14-4 run over the next seven minutes to build a comfortable lead. Trinity led by 11 at the half and maintained a double-digit lead until halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Prexies outscored Trinity 17-4 in the fourth quarter, forcing turnovers and converting them into easy baskets.
“Late in the game it was a bit uncharacteristic of us,” said Miles. “We were looking to run some clock and just got sloppy at times, but all things considered I was pretty happy with the effort.”
The Hillers had a balanced scoring attack, led by Rachel Phillis and Kelly Korpus, who finished with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Trinity rebounded well at the offensive end gettiing multiple second and third shot opportunities.
“It’s something we have to get better at,” said Wash High head coach Mike Maltony. “We addressed it at the half and after the third quarter, but we have to become a better rebounding team. When we have only one big in the game, we have to be able to rebound as a team.”
The biggest difference between the two teams was the Hillers’ shooting from the free-throw line, where Trinity went 13-for-17. Wash High made only 11-of-23 at the line, which ultimately played a role in the outcome.
“We have to shoot the ball better, especially from the foul line,” said Maltony. “But I learned that we have a lot of fight in us as a team. We could have easily hung our heads and got blown out by 20. I was proud that there was no quit in us. That’s big with having no seniors on this team. If we keep giving that type of effort we will be fine.”
India March had a game-high 17 points for Washington, while Mya Gordon chipped in 11.