Trinity Lutheran made an incredible surge in the fourth quarter of its opening-round game against Hauser on Wednesday afternoon in the Edinburgh Tournament.
It was the first quarter that proved to be the difference-maker.
The Jets outscrapped and outhustled the Cougars in the first quarter, which led to a 76-70 loss for Trinity.
“With Christmas break here, we had four days off, and everybody started off flat,” Cougars coach Brian Stuckwisch said. “Defensively, we gave up 23 points in the first quarter, and we didn’t need to start out like that. The second half was much better for us, but it was the first quarter that got us.”
The Cougars allowed a lot of second-chance points early on to the Jets, who led the game from wire to wire. Hauser outrebounded Trinity, and it led the Jets to a 23-18 lead after the first quarter.
After the Cougars trimmed the Jets’ lead to 23-20 after two free throws from Tyler Goecker, Hauser went on a 7-0 run with all of the points coming from the free throw line to make it 30-20.
Two more free throws from Goecker ended the Hauser scoring run, but Sam Johnson made back-to-back baskets to give the Jets a 34-22 lead.
The margin would stay that way for the rest of the second quarter with Hauser leading 45-32 at the half.
“Hauser is a lot bigger than us and were a lot more aggressive in the first half. They got a lot of second and third chance at a basket all the time,” Stuckwisch said. “In the second half, we didn’t give them those second chances.”
In the third quarter, Hauser led 51-36, but an 8-0 run by Trinity made it a seven-point game.
Both teams traded points the rest of the quarter with the Jets leading 58-51 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Cougars converted back-to-back baskets to cut the Jets lead to 58-55. Trinity eventually tied the game at 61 with less than four minutes left in the game.
Brock Thalls then drained a 3-pointer to lead 64-61. The Cougars cut the deficit back to one on a couple of possessions, but the Jets put the game away on a 5-0 run to seal the win.
For the Cougars, Mitchell Hackman finished with a team-high 16 points, while Trent Shoemaker and Goecker added 15 each.
For the Jets, Johnson poured in a game-high 24 points, while Sean Miller and Thalls added 14 and 13, respectively.
Trinity dropped into the consolation bracket and played a second game late Wednesday night. Look for those results in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.