The last two seasons have gone reasonably well for the Trinity High School basketball team with back-to-back IHSA Class 3A regional titles and drawing the top seed in the sectional twice. Unfortunately, each season ended with the Blazers losing the sectional final, both times to neighboring Fenwick.
This year, Trinity has to replace five players — including three starters — who were lost to graduation. But head coach Kim Coleman is satisfied with how her team is developing.
“Things are going OK, a lot of grinding, work, cleaning up things, getting fundamentals in,” she said.
Trinity (23-12 last year) returns two starters. Senior forward Lauren Miller, a University of Chicago commit, is a three-year starter who averaged 16 points and 9 rebounds per game in 2022-23, while sophomore forward Chloe Santos averaged 6.3 points and 4.8 rebounds.
“Lauren is our engine and leader and shows it every day in her actions,” Coleman said. “Chloe is a sophomore now and we’re expecting big things from her.”
The Blazers have three other players with experience: senior guard Luz Kwiatkowski-Perez, junior forward Zaria Goins, and junior guard Jaylani Hernandez. Newcomers include freshman guard Destiny Sacluti, sophomore forward Niara Wells, and junior guards Kathy Kopec, Ariana Rodriguez, and Grace Treese.
“I’m really excited for [Sacluti],” Miller said. “She’s super-talented and can shoot the ball. She’s also super-aggressive (defensively) and has good handles. We’ve also got some gritty players who’ll grab some rebounds and give us a few extra possessions.”
Traditionally Trinity plays a challenging schedule, and this year is no different. The Blazers will participate in the Morton College Christmas Tournament, Dec. 27-30. Coleman calls it “arguably one of the top tournaments in the state with multiple state qualifiers and elite players.”
Trinity will also face highly-regarded Kenwood — Dec. 9, in the Showcase in the Park Invitational at Phillips in Chicago — as well as Hyde Park, led by Southern Illinois University commit Mia Gaines, in its MLK Showcase Jan. 15. There is also a home game with OPRF on Feb. 6.
The Blazers figure to have several tough games within the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Red Division. Loyola Academy, Montini, and Mother McAuley seem to be the top contenders, with DePaul Prep, Fenwick, Providence Catholic, and St. Ignatius formidable as well.
“I like the tough schedule; it gives us the opportunity to compete against some really good talent and get better,” Miller said.
Coleman wants Trinity to compete at a high level every day and play defense aggressively without fouling. She also wants the Blazers to have confidence every time they step on the floor.
“In doing that, we feel we can compete with our conference opponents and ultimately make a run in the state tournament and get past the sectional hump,” Coleman said.
“Our biggest thing is fighting through the hard games,” Miller added.