By Brad Spencer
The Trinity basketball team is vying for its third-straight Loyola Academy Holiday Showcase title, but obtaining it won't be an easy task.
The Blazers, while steadfastly climbing their way up the rankings, are powering through a bout with the injury bug. Senior Mikayla Leyden is out with a knee injury and isn't due back until January. Freshmen Maryam Wilcher (ankle) and Amber Reese (knee) have also been nursing injuries. Head coach Ed Stritzel was optimistic that Wilcher would be back in time for Trinity to defend last season's Loyola Academy Holiday Showcase title. Reese, he said, is out for the season.
But the Blazers, who entered the tournament with a 7-1 record, have plenty of talent to carry them past holiday competition and beyond. Loyola-bound Taylor Nazon is averaging 17 points per game for Trinity, while Lauren Prochaska is scoring to a 14-point per game clip. Others contributing regularly include Annie McKenna and Shannon McGinnis, who combine to tally 15 points per game for the Blazers.
"Our depth is very important to us as we play an expanded rotation, and, with all our injuries, I feel we have shown the depth of our program," said Stritzel.
Trinity takes on Stevenson in the second round of the tournament on Dec. 27 at Loyola in Wilmette (7 p.m.). They'll play Waukegan on Dec. 28 (5:30 p.m.) at Stevenson, and they'll take on the host of the tournament on Dec. 29 (3 p.m.) at Loyola.
Stritzel said he's looking forward to the matchups.
"Stevenson and Loyola both are quality opponents who pose different challenges for our team," he said.
Following the tournament, Trinity begins a four-game homestand. The Blazers host St. Ignatius on Jan. 3 (6:30 p.m.), Hillcrest on Jan. 5 (2:30 p.m.), Mother McAuley on Jan. 10 (7:30 p.m.) and Vernon Hills on Jan. 12 (2:30 p.m.).