Euless Trinity pays back Irving, wins 6-5A title

Posted Friday, Feb. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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With a district title and a chance to avenge its only district loss of the season on the line, Euless Trinity used a monster second half to pull away for a 67-53 victory over Irving High on Friday night.

The Trojans (24-5, 12-1 District 6-5A) broke the game open with 42 points in the second half to leave the Tigers (12-12, 8-5) behind and claim their first district championship since 1999.

It was also a chance for Trinity to avenge a 37-36 loss to Irving earlier this season — a game in which Trojans coach Mark Villines said, “just about everything possible went wrong for us [in a 20-8 fourth-quarter collapse].”

“If we couldn’t get up for this game, then something was wrong,” Villines said before the tip.

Early Friday night, the game almost looked to be a continuation of the last meeting as Trinity’s starters struggled to find their rhythm, and the Tigers led most of the first half. At intermission, Trinity center Myles Turner had only six points and two rebounds.

Fortunately for the Trojans, reserve players such as Jalen Jackson and Ryan Smith combined for 19 points and Trinity led 25-24 at the break.

In the second half, Turner and fellow starter Jhivvan Jackson went to work. Jackson scored 10 points in a 19-11 third period. Turner finished off his team-high 19 points with nine fourth-quarter points to go with six blocked shots. He had five rebounds for the game.

“I’ll admit I was a little nervous early,” Villines said afterward. “But the whole team stepped it up in the second half and did the job.”

Irving’s Nelson Villatoro scored 13 to lead the Tigers, who connected on eight 3-pointers to keep the game close. Trinity’s Jalen and Jhivvan Jackson combined for 26 points.

Trinity closes the season Tuesday at home against Carrollton Turner. The first round of the playoffs is scheduled for Feb. 17-18.

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