Ranked and ready, Trinity is making the rounds

? Team plays straight up against state's best,

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By BRAD SPENCER, Sports Editor

Trinity didn't just crack the Top 20 ranking two weeks ago, it shattered the ranking.

The Blazers (8-3, 2-0) knocked off two ranked teams, then took No. 1-ranked and cross-town rival Fenwick to the wire in a 66-63 loss, and then trounced Queen of Peace, 60-34, and 13th-ranked Hinsdale Central 52-40.

The effort earned the Blazers (8-3, 2-0) the 11th spot in the rankings, and the momentum is headed upward.

Trinity knocked off Hinsdale Central Friday night with the help of Alison Sansone's 16 points. Katie Jarger added 12 points, while Tonesha Members chipped in eight.

Lakendra Johnson led the pummeling of Girls Catholic Athletic Conference rival Queen of Peace on Thursday with 15 points and a resounding 22 rebounds.

In front of a home crowd of more than 1,200 on Dec. 7, the Blazers came close to upsetting Fenwick, racing back from a 17-point deficit, but the Friars managed to spurn a potential upset and hold on for a 66-63 victory.

Trinity led by as many as seven points in the second quarter before Fenwick's Brittanny Johnson, Devereaux Peters and Alison Jackson went to work dismantling the Blazers' defense. Peters scored 12 points in the first half to give Fenwick a 34-30 edge at the break.

Jarger's 11 points, mostly coming from 3-pointers, kept Trinity alive. 

When play resumed, Fenwick came out on fire while Trinity was plagued by turnovers. The Friars jumped on a 9-0 run, and led 51-38 after three periods.

In the fourth, with the Friars up 12, the Blazers staged a comeback sparked by the play of Tonesha Members and Jarger.

With 4:20 left in the game, Trinity evened things up at 55. Fenwick took a slight lead but couldn't shake the Blazers. But Peters, who finished with 19 points, capped the win at the free-throw line in the closing seconds for Fenwick.

Jarger led Trinity with 18 points, and Members contributed 14 points.

"We took the No. 1 team in the state down to the last seconds of the game. We made it a game and I'm proud of the girls and their effort tonight," said Trinity head coach Don Sansone.

Trinity faces two highly-ranked opponents this week, starting with Benet tonight (Wednesday, 7 p.m.). The Blazers continue on the road to face fifth-ranked Marian Catholic on Friday (7:30 p.m.). The Spartans (8-1) downed a team from St. Louis, Mo., 64-50 on Saturday. Trinity will have to contain Casey Taylor, who scored 16 points, and hauled down nine rebounds in the win over St. Joseph (Mo.).

Cynthia White contributed to this report.

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