By Zach Shugan
ROSWELL, Ga. — After dropping its first region game of the season, a double-overtime loss Tuesday at Cass, the Blessed Trinity boys basketball team bounced back Friday night and picked up a region win over Calhoun, 71-62.
The Titans were paced by their veteran backcourt of Jax Bouknight and Jonathan Franchi, who combined for 45 points, and two young big-men in Cole Weaver and Brigham Rogers, who combined for 17 points and 16 rebounds.
“Today was huge,” Blessed Trinity head coach Mark Moses said. “Starting 0-2 in the region would’ve been tough, so this is a huge confidence boost for these guys.”
The Titans had control from the start, leading 19-11 after one quarter, but Calhoun played well enough to stay within striking distance until the game’s closing minutes. Moses gave credit to the Yellow Jackets for their fight following the game, but he called for more consistency from the Titans, ranked No. 9 in Class 5A.
“We probably stretched the lead to 10 points and then it’s ‘Here they come back,'” Moses said. “Calhoun is a good team, for sure, but a lot of that is our inconsistency that we’re dealing with and battling. It’s something we have to get better at if we’re going to accomplish something and achieve our goals.”
Blessed Trinity held a narrow lead, 33-30, at halftime behind stellar play from Bouknight and Franchi. The seniors both had double-digit point totals in the half, as Bouknight scored 12 and Franchi scored 11 points. Rogers, one of two sophomores to start for the Titans, had eight points and four rebounds, including a put-back bucket at the very end of the half.
Blessed Trinity’s lead grew to 11 points by the end of the third quarter, as the Yellow Jackets were unable to slow down the Titans offensively.
Calhoun found some success in the fourth quarter by moving to a full-court press on defense, but the Titans quickly figured out how to beat the press and squashed any hopes of a comeback for the Yellow Jackets.
“When they pulled within five or so in the fourth quarter, we weathered that and pushed forward,” Moses said. “We weathered that and then extended our lead.”
Bouknight finished with a game-high 25 points, and Franchi and Rogers added 20 and 13 points, respectively.
With region play in full swing, Moses feels good about where the Titans are at as a group. Though they’re missing two key players who are quarantining, according to Moses, and he wants to see more consistency on the court.
“We’re working hard every day,” Moses said. “Like I said, if we could just get rid of some of the inconsistency. We’re a good team, but we have to put a complete game together. We had a tough non-region schedule, so we’re prepared for the region. We get those guys back, we coalesce around them, we limit our mistakes, then we have a lot of potential.”
Blessed Trinity (10-4, 1-1) plays Jan. 12 at home against region opponent Woodland (2-10, 0-0).
Prior to the boys’ win over Calhoun, the Blessed Trinity girls basketball team squared off against the Yellow Jackets. Though the Lady Titans led by two points entering the fourth quarter, Calhoun came back to take the win, 62-54.
Junior Maura Ryan led Blessed Trinity in scoring with 15 points, while senior Emma Jacobs grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Freshman Julia Geis added 11 points and eight rebounds.
With the loss, Blessed Trinity fell to 2-10 on the season and 0-2 in region play. The Lady Titans play Jan. 12 at home against Woodland (1-9, 0-0).