Name: Christian Koroly
Koroly’s week: Held to just 18 points during the first two games of the EQT Energy Classic at Canon-McMillan High School, Koroly erupted for 20-plus points in four consecutive games Sunday through Saturday, three of them at the KSA Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Koroly made nine 3-pointers and totaled 67 points in the tournament to help Trinity go 3-0, picking up Most Valuable Player honors along the way.
The bounce back: Koroly got good looks in the EQT opener against Pikeville (Ky.), but the shots simply didn’t go down, a seven-point head-scratcher.
Last season, such a performance would’ve triggered a meltdown, not a week like the 6-0 guard had.
“Last year, I would have been extremely frustrated, and I probably would have thrown a temper tantrum after the game,” Koroly said. “I hated knowing that I had let my team down. Missing shots and all that, I would feel such a burden. But this year, because of all the experience, I know I only let my team down if I put myself in that position.”
What keyed the turnaround?
Mostly watching college and pro basketball games with his dad, realizing that even Kobe Bryant has an off day every now and again.
“I would watch games with my father, and he would say, ‘Look, so and so is having a rough night, but is he going to stop shooting? No. He’s going to keep shooting and shooting.’
“That’s all I was thinking during the Pikeville game: Just keep plugging away. All you can do is think about the next play.”
Plenty of experience: Koroly is one of four seniors in Trinity’s starting lineup and one of five returning starters for the experienced Hillers.
The group, which has been playing together since fifth grade, has benefited from that chemistry, often operating without the same amount of verbal communication that others might require.
“There’s a lot experience out there,” Koroly said. “We all know how to handle the pressure. We’re comfortable. We trust each other.”
Hard to argue, especially given that Trinity (1-0 Section 4-AAAA, 6-1 overall) has averaged nearly 20 points more than its opponents.
“He’s been playing very well,” first-year coach Stan Noszka said. “He’s been a great leader, and he’s playing well on both ends of the floor. To be honest, our whole team is playing very well. We have two or three kids who’ve stepped into a leadership role, and Christian is certainly one of those.”
An eventful trip: The trip to Florida included visits to several amusement parks, including Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Universal Studios, even a stay in Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort. But it’s the bonding Trinity did as a team that Koroly will remember the most.
“I think the coolest thing down there was getting to know some of my other teammates better, rooming with some different teammates who I didn’t know as well as the other ones and building up a trust and a friendship with them on and off the court,” Koroly said. “I think it was neat seeing that come together because a lot of people came out of their shells.”