Northeast Tarrant

Trinity basketball teams turn eyes to rival Bell, district race

Trinity guard Trinity Oliver and the Lady Trojans play Bell for first place on Tuesday.
Trinity guard Trinity Oliver and the Lady Trojans play Bell for first place on Tuesday. Star-Telegram archives

The tournaments are over and the calendar has turned to a new year. All that remains for the basketball teams at Hurst L.D. Bell and Euless Trinity are their District 5-6A races — and, they hope, the postseason.

In fact, the winner of Tuesday night’s Bell-Trinity girls game (played after the press deadline) took over first place in the district with a perfect 4-0 record.

The Lady Trojans entered the Christmas break with a 16-0 record and were competing in the prestigious Sandra Meadows Tournament in Duncanville. They were ranked No. 2 in the state by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches and set for a showdown with No. 1 Duncanville on the other side of the tournament bracket.

It is always a battle when Trinity plays Bell in anything.

- Trinity girls basketball coach Sue Cannon

“We have played in the strong Sandra Meadows Tournament for years. It comes at a great time and it is one of the strongest tournaments in the nation,” Trinity coach Sue Cannon said. “The tournament gives us an opportunity to see teams from all over the state and nation so that we can see how we stack up with them. If a team does well in the Sandra Meadows Classic, then you know you have a quality team.

“Playing well also gives our players confidence that we can compete with teams in our district. We are pleased to be 16-0 at the Christmas break but know that we have many games left to play and need to continue to work hard and improve with every practice and/or game.”

The Lady Raiders, meanwhile, entered the break 11-7 and were competing in another elite tournament in Mansfield. While not state-ranked like their nemesis at Trinity, the Lady Raiders would nonetheless be alone atop the league with a home win Tuesday.

Cannon is taking nothing for granted, despite the fact that her team has not lost a district game since 2015.

“L.D. Bell is playing very well. Not only do they have one of the best players in the state in Lexi Gordon, her freshman sister, Myra Gordon, is scoring a bunch of points at the point guard position,” Cannon said. “They also return a couple of quality players from last year’s team. It is always a battle when Trinity plays Bell in anything.”

While the local focus is obviously on the Lady Raiders and Lady Trojans, Flower Mound (10-7 overall, 3-1 in district at break) was right behind. Lewisville 7-9, 2-2) is also very much in the playoff hunt, followed by Marcus (6-8, 1-2) and Hebron (3-10, 1-2), while Trophy Club Nelson (4-7 overall) and Southlake Carroll (7-12) are each at 0-3.

On the boys side, Bell and Trinity also were set to meet Tuesday in a key district game. The Raiders did not play in a holiday tournament and were 4-14 coming off the holiday break, while Trinity (9-4) was playing in the Whataburger Tournament at press time.

The Raiders brought an 0-1 district record into the game, with Trinity 1-0. Flower Mound (12-7, 2-0) leads the league, with Marcus (5-5 overall), Hebron (10-3) and Lewisville (8-4) each 1-1 in the league, and Carroll (7-5) and Nelson (7-6) each 0-1.

“We don’t treat any district game differently, and in this new district if you look too far ahead, it might burn you, so we will be focused on Bell just like any other opponent,” Trinity coach Mark Villines said.

“I truly feel that this new district is going to be a big grind, so coming out of the break, this game will be a big momentum game to carry us forward through January.”