Lady Tigers collect third district title in hoops

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By Sean Arnold

The Trenton girls’ basketball team was the clear favorite heading into its District 1A-7 tournament.


The Lady Tigers, who were the No. 1 seed and district host, matched those expectations with ease, cruising to their third straight district championship with convincing wins over Bronson and Branford. They play host to Frostproof Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Class 1A regional semifinals. The Lady Buccaneers are at Wildwood the same night.

Trenton (24-2) raced to a 34-11 advantage on the Lady Eagles in the second quarter to take command of the game, despite 14 first-half points from BMHS junior point guard Yelena Thomas, eventually capturing a 74-29 win over the fourth-seeded Bronson squad.

Senior Thalia Jackson proved unstoppable in the paint for TMHS in the matchup, as she posted a game-high 28 points. Juniors Bryn Thomas (11 points) and Taniah Bowers (10 points) joined her in double figures for Trenton. Jackson was 8 for 14 at the foul line and added 15 rebounds to notch a double-double.

“This group is a little more seasoned than what I’ve had in the past,” said Trenton coach Bryant Frye, whose squad made the state finals in 2016. Sometimes we score a lot and get ahead by 20 and want to relax a little bit. We’ve got to worry about the big picture.

“I think the biggest thing is, play good defense, because if they can’t score, then they can’t win. It also helps to put up 74. It takes the pressure off you.

“I do feel for (Bronson coach Rodney Thomas), with a couple players injured. Two years ago, we had an injury to our star point guard.”

Yelena Thomas finished with 21 points for the Lady Eagles.

Rodney Thomas was more concerned with his team’s lack of execution than the talent discrepancy on the floor. His other starting guard, Neomi Thomas, was out with an injury.

“The biggest thing is just (lack of) discipline on offense and defense. Whenever we play tight and keep the pressure on, it’s no different than when we played them in Bronson, they will turn the ball over,” Thomas said of his team’s 41-30 defeat to the Lady Tigers earlier this season. “But when you get out of position and you stand around, things are going to happen. They’re going to outrun you. That, I will not tolerate again.

“Trenton remains consistent, and we’re inconsistent,” Thomas added. “We have a lot of young kids that’s playing up on the varsity right now, but at this point in the season, the excuses are gone.”

The Lady Tigers went on to knock off No. 2 seed Branford 72-38 in the championship game Feb 9.

Jackson and Bowers paced Trenton with 23 and 16 points, respectively, while junior duo Zakyah Frazier and Standrea McHenry tacked on 11 apiece.

Bowers collected eight steals, and Bryn Thomas added another six. Jackson (12 rebounds) and Frazier (10 boards) each turned in a double-double.