Going into Saturday’s contest against Orleans, Trinity Lutheran girls basketball coach Mike Lang knew his club was in for a tough game.
By the end of the tilt, Lang could take a sigh of relief.
The Cougars posted a 54-43 win over Bulldogs at the Bollinger Athletic Complex over the weekend, extending their winning streak to five straight games.
“(Orleans) is a darn good team,” Lang said. “I told (Orleans coach) Jared Gilbert that they are a much improved team. We got better today. This game had me worried because of how hard they played.”
In the first quarter, the Cougars (6-2) jumped to a 7-1 lead in the first three minutes behind four points by Sydney Jaynes.
Hannah Sabotin converted an and-one with 2:44 left in the first quarter, but neither team would score again before the buzzer as Trinity held a 12-7 lead.
Orleans (6-4) picked it up in the second quarter, a period which saw six lead changes.
A pair of 3-pointers by the Bulldogs’ Sheridan Robbins gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game, with four minutes left in the half, at 17-16.
After exchanging the advantage a handful of times, the Cougars held a 24-23 lead at intermission.
Out of the break, the Cougars scored six straight points to push the lead to seven.
In the final 3:47 of the third quarter the Cougars outscored the Bulldogs 8-5 to lead 38-33 going into the final eight minutes of play.
Savannah Harweger scored eight points in the third quarter for Trinity after recording four in the first half.
Leading 40-36 with 6:30 left in regulation, Hannah Sabotin went to work for the Cougars in the post.
Sabotin scored nine straight points for the Cougars from the 6:19- to 3:31-mark, extending the Cougars’ lead to 49-38.
The Cougars put together a final run, 5-0, to seal the win.
“We felt that we should have converted more down low in the first half. We fixed it in the second half,” Lang said.
Sabotin led the Cougars with 17 points, Harweger chipped in 14 and Jaynes added 13.
Jaynes, who was double and triple teamed for almost the entirety of the game, scored eight of her points in the first half.
“I told Syd in the locker room how proud of her I was for her letting the game come to her. She didn’t force it,” Lang said. “We got better today because of that. Other players stepped up and got after it. We knew we had the lanes to attack because of it.”
Robbins topped Orleans with 14 points and Audrey Elrod scored 10.
“Elrod and Robbins are two nice scorers,” Lang said. “They are good players. Robbins hit two 3-pointers in the first half, and that was a point of emphasis — knowing where she was at all times. Elrod threw some shots in towards the end and (Jacqulin) Gerkin stepped out and hit a 3-poitner we didn’t expect. We got out of here with a victory.”
On the boards, the Cougars outrebounded the Bulldogs 28-20. Trinity won the turnover margin 12-17.
“Every kid that played today contributed,” Lang said.
Trinity Lutheran will travel to Austin Tuesday.