Every point counts.

The Trinity High School girls basketball team found that out on Saturday.

After suffering their first loss of the season Friday at the hands of Batavia, the Blazers rebounded to knock off Proviso East 76-59 on Saturday to win their own Thanksgiving Tournament on point differential.

That differential? One point.

Trinity, Batavia and Proviso East all finished the tournament with 4-1 records. The tiebreaker was greatest margin of victory throughout the tournament and the Blazers’ 17-point win over Proviso East gave them a one-point advantage over the Pirates.

“It was great to see them respond to adversity,” said Trinity assistant coach Jeff Krason, who resigned along with fellow assistants Dave Roselund and Nicole Rivera in support of head coach Ed Stritzel’s resignation on Monday, Nov. 30. “It was extremely unlikely that we would go undefeated and win a state championship, so it was good to see that after we lost to a team we shouldn’t have, we were able to bounce back.”

The Blazers (4-1) knew they needed to beat Proviso East to have any hope of defending the title of the tournament, which began last year. What the players didn’t know was the margin needed.

“We told the kids we had to win by a significant margin to win the tournament but we didn’t even know the exact total until midway through the third quarter when the athletic director told us,” Krason said. “Then we told the kids in the fourth quarter exactly what we needed.”

 Trinity’s two seniors, Kaitlyn Aylward and Annie McKenna, led the way with outstanding performances. Aylward poured in 24 points and 10 rebounds, while McKenna and sophomore Daliyah Brown each tallied 14 points.

Aylward, McKenna and sophomore Alisa Fallon were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Blazers opened the tournament with three straight wins, beating Simeon 74-36 and North Lawndale 66-32 before easing past Zion-Benton 67-57.

But Trinity could not stop Batavia’s star 6-2 center Hannah Frazier, who had 33 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to a 54-50 upset.

Batavia led 51-40 with two minutes left before the hosts staged a furious rally behind McKenna, who scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter. The Blazers used a 10-0 run to pull within a point as McKenna sank the first of two free throws with 10 seconds left, but her game-tying attempt missed and Frazier sank three free throws in the final seconds to clinch it.

 “I don’t want to take anything away from Frazier, she played phenomenal, but we didn’t have the game plan to slow her down and it didn’t work well for us,” Krason said. “We didn’t come in focused.

“I think (the players) were trying to look ahead to Proviso East and we didn’t have the focus we needed. If anything, I think that loss is going to help us. It was a lesson.”

 If so, the Blazers learned quickly, dispatching Proviso East with an urgency and fluid style of play that was lacking against Batavia.

“We played bad in every facet of the game against Batavia,” Krason said. “The opposite was true against Proviso East.

“We ran the press break well, we shot the ball well and we shared the ball well. I think we had more than 20 assists. All 11 girls got in and everyone contributed.”

The schedule only gets tougher for the Blazers, who played Montini on Tuesday (past deadline) in their GCAC opener. Montini, which finished third in the state in Class 3A last year, has moved to Class 4A this season. Trinity also plays Marshall at the Crete-Monee Shootout on Saturday before traveling to Loyola on Dec. 8.

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