Cougars take county battle


With the Trinity Lutheran boys basketball downing Jackson County-rival Crothersville on Friday, the girls squad looked to follow suit against the visiting Tigers on Saturday.

The Cougars did just that as they defeated the Tigers 56-40 in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.

In the first quarter, both teams came out with defensive tenacity.

Both the Tigers and Cougars committed seven turnovers in the opening eight minutes.

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The lead was traded only once, and the Cougars maintained a 10-8 advantage after one quarter.

Crothersville relied on a full-court press in the second quarter to slow Trinity. However, the Cougars played through the defensive scheme.

Trinity freshman Maddie Roark drilled a 3-pointer at the 5:34 mark, which sparked a 7-0 run.

At halftime, the Cougars led 29-24.

“First half, we wanted to try to take it away from (season leading-scorer) Katrina Christian,” Trinity Lutheran coach Mike Lang said. “We caused some turnovers in our 1-3-1 (defense), and started picking them up full court before dropping into our zone. At the end of the first half it got a little erratic, and I tried to give some of the kids rest, because I wanted to play full-court man on them. I think our kids did a good job getting on it and good results happened out of it.”

Both teams played at a high pace in the opening minutes.

“It was frustrating from my end, because we wanted to pound the ball down low,” Lang said. “We knew Sydney (Stuckwisch) had an advantage down low. We weren’t getting our looks like we wanted. It was a little bit of a rivalry game, and they have a couple athletes out there that sped it up.”

Alexis Adair proved Crothersville’s biggest weapon with 12 points at half.

Katrina Christian netted the first Tigers basket in the second half and converted an and-one opportunity before splitting a pair of free throws to narrow the deficit to 31-28 with 4:33 left in the third quarter.

The closest the Tigers got to a lead after halftime was at the 3:02 mark in the third quarter on another basket by Christian.

From 2:47 to 1:25 Trinity went on a 12-0 run behind seven points from Roark, as they would lead 45-33 before the final eight minutes.

The Cougars started the fourth quarter on an 6-0 run and didn’t look back the rest of the way.

Roark led Trinity with 22 points and Sydney Stuckwisch added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

For Crothersville, Christian and Adair each finished with 14 points to lead their team. Adair also led the Tigers with 12 rebounds.

Allison Davidson got her first start of the season for the Tigers on Saturday.

“Allison brings some toughness to our team, and we need some toughness,” Crothersville coach Kevin Hensley said. “We’re not getting the toughness that we need, and that’s what I’m looking for. That’s what I tell the girls all the time, we need toughness.”

The Cougars had much more productive bench play Saturday than during recent games.

“It makes me sleep a lot better,” Lang joked after having six different players score in the game. “The more people we have scoring, the better we’re going to be. We can’t have one or two people scoring all the time. We need to distribute the ball, and that was my point of getting the ball down to Sydney (Stuckwisch). We knew, after a while, they were going to start doubling down on her and it would open up the outside for shots, or drives and getting to the free-throw line.”

The Tigers finished with 26 turnovers to the Cougars’ 28 giveaways.

“Silly, silly mistakes,” Hensley said. “It wasn’t anything major. I want to see them learn from this game today, and correct the little things we talked about in the locker room. If we correct the itty-bitty things, and effort, we will win more games. We just need to go all out.”

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