Fourth seed will do, say Blazers

? Team gets bumped back in GCAC tourney ranking

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The Blazers may be eager to prove officials wrong this week in the Girls Catholic Athletic (Red) Conference tournament.

Despite a 20-point victory earlier in the season against Resurrection, Trinity, who is tied at 5-2 in the conference with Resurrection and St. Ignatius, was awarded a measly No. 4 seed. Resurrection received the coveted No. 2 spot. St Ignatius snagged the No. 3 seed due to the fact it had a win against Trinity in the regular season.

But Trinity head coach Don Sansone wasn't bitter over the slight before the start of the tournament.

"My thinking is you got to play everyone anyway," he said. "If you want to win a conference, you have to beat everyone."

Thanks to Katie Jarger's 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in Trinity's quarterfinal game against Regina on Monday night, the Blazers advanced beyond the first round of the conference tournament. Jarger's heroics gave Trinity (16-9) a 56-55 win over Regina (12-12), a team the Blazers defeated 52-41 back on Jan. 20.

Trinity will now face No. 1 seed Loyola (25-1) today (Wednesday) in the semifinals.

The championship game is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. at Loyola. The 7-0 Ramblers are ranked third in the state by the Chicago Tribune and fourth in the Associated Press poll.

Before her team's win over Regina, senior guard Alsison Sansone said the Blazers were eager for a chance to play the top seed in the semifinals.

"If we do beat Regina, we'll have a chance to play Loyola. I think our team really wants to play them again and beat them."

In contrast to last season when 6-foot-2-inch Caprice Smith dominated for Trinity, the Blazers have several players who can take the reigns during a game this season.

"Last year Caprice Smith was our go to player. This year there are a lot of girls who can do things," said Sansone. "I don't think there is necessarily one go-to player, but any of these three: Alison (Sansone), Katie (Jarger) or Lykendra (Johnson) have been stepping up. Marche Smith has come on strong lately as well as Amanda Macchione. We get it from all different angles."

Sansone said he hopes to have Toni Carter back for the conference tournament. Carter, a starter last year, has been plagued by a back injury most of the season.

"I don't expect her to play a full quarter but we'll get her in there when we need her," he said.

Trinity received a No. 2 seed behind cross-town rival Fenwick for the Lyons State Sectional to begin in less than two weeks.

"We're really looking forward to the GCAC tournament because it will prepare us well for the State [tournament]," said Jarger, who scored a team-high 19 points in the win over Regina. "Being seeded No. 2, we'll definitely have a good shot at winning regionals, and then going to the sectional."

"Alumnae Night" will mark Trinity's last home game of the season against Nazareth on Tuesday, Feb. 8th at 7:30 pm. The Blazers will host regional games for the State tournament starting on Monday, Feb. 14th.

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