Ben Morrissey's team wasn't accustomed to the pace of American basketball when it arrived in the United States in late November.
Australia plays by international rules, with a 24-second shot clock. The style is fast and defense is at a premium.
Trinity Grammar School in Sydney, Australia, started its basketball tour of the U.S. in late November. The team stopped in Georgia to play Augusta Christian on Thursday before traveling to Westminster and then Savannah.
The team's trip started with a string of losses in Indiana, but the Aussies had some good excuses. They endured a 27-hour flight to get here and often stayed up past midnight talking with their host American families about life down under.
And there's no shot clock.
"We're used to playing good 'D' and being rewarded and then we're down at the other end," Morrissey said. "But (here) we could be playing 'D' for a minute, minute and a half."
Augusta Christian coach Marty Griffin said Trinity provided a good test for his team as it tries to work out kinks early in the season. After the initial hiccups, the Lions began working the ball inside for easy baskets.
"Our post players are coming along," Griffin said. "If they keep working like that, we're going to be OK."
Trinity's harassing man-to-man style earned the respect of Augusta Christian, which lost the exhibition 58-52.
The win improved Trinity to 5-4 on its U.S. tour.
The visitors spent half of the school day in Augusta Christian classes, something they try to do at each stop. They also spent Thursday night with the families of Lions players.
Before the game, Columbia County chairman Ron Cross presented Morrissey's group with Columbia County keychains, and Lions players gave their opponents gift bags containing red rubber balls and towels.
After Savannah, Trinity traveled to the West Coast, where players will watch a UCLA basketball game and play in San Francisco. They already watched the Pacers beat Boston in overtime in Indianapolis.
The team visited Chicago, Los Angeles and New York on its last trip, in 2005. The trips abroad are taken during Trinity's summer break, which lasts six weeks. Morrissey said his team is in the middle of its basketball season and would resume its region schedule when the break ends.
Teams such as Augusta Christian provide the practice.
The game was set up through Augusta State assistant coach Robbie McKinlay, a Sydney native, who contacted the tour's travel director about stopping in Augusta.
Both teams' players were cordial before and after tip-off. The players exchanged gifts and afterward Augusta Christian students posed for pictures with Trinity players.
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