Cougars come up short in final seconds against Raiders


Friday night’s Trinity Lutheran-South Ripley boys basketball game in the Bollinger Athletic Complex came down to the final possession.

Ripley’s Zach Gentile hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 5.3 seconds remaining to give his team a 53-50 lead.

Trinity coach Brian Stuckwisch called two times outs, the later coming with 2.4 seconds remaining, with the Cougars having the ball out of bounds in front of the Ripley bench.

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Trent Shoemaker received the inbounds pass and dribbled across the midcourt line and shot. His ball bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded and the Raiders left with a 53-50 win.

Ripley held a 35-34 lead going into the fourth period, and the score was tied at 37 all when the Cougars went on a 6-0 run and took a 43-37 lead on a layup by Shoemaker with 6:20 remaining.

Trinity held its final lead at 45-42 before the Raiders went on a 6-0 run to go up 48-45 with 2:26 remaining.

Mitchell Hackman’s layup left Trinity trailing 48-47 with 1:15 remaining.

Jack Marksberry hit a 3-pointer with 42 seconds remaining that tied the score at 50-50 and set the stage for Gentile’s game winner.

“In pressure situations we missed some shots,” Stuckwisch said. “It came down to execution and making shots. I think that’s most of it. I think the intensity was there. We came back from a halftime deficit and got right back into it.”

The Raiders held a 27-18 lead at the half and were leading 29-21 lead early in the third period when the Cougars went on a 13-2 run to take a 34-31 lead.

A.J. Goecker, who was slowed by foul trouble in the first half, scored six straight points for the Cougars during the rally.

Tyler Goecker made two free throws, and Hackman scored five points, including a 3-pointer at the 1:12 mark to put Trinity top 34-31.

“We were sitting in a good spot and we let a couple opportunities slips away from us.” Stuckwisch said.

A.J. Goecker topped the Cougars in scoring with 13 points and 7 rebounds, and Hackman scored 12 points.

Cody Samples topped the Raider (2-1) with 16 points.

Ripley made 19 of 51 shots from the floor and the Cougars made 20 of 50.

“Our defense was a little bit better tonight,” Stuckwisch said. “I thought Mitchell Hackman played well tonight. He came in off the bench and gave us some good minutes. A.J. was in foul trouble and had a good second half. He came into it.

“We just missed some open shots. If we would have hit some open shots we would have been fine.”

Trinity (1-3) will travel to Austin Tuesday night.

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