Cougars fall behind early, can’t catch Hornets


Trinity Lutheran coach Brian Stuckwisch says his boys basketball team isn’t very effective when it has to play catch up.

That was the predicament the Cougars round themselves in Saturday night, as Henryville opened up a 16-6 lead after seven minutes of play and left the Bollinger Athletic Complex with an 82-60 win.

Cole Pirrman, a 5-foot-9 junior, hurt the Cougars the most as he nailed eight 3-pointers and took game scoring honors with 25 points.

“I’ve never seen their players hit that many threes, or even attempt that many threes in the film that I saw,” Stuckwisch said. “I don’t think they were completely open all the time. I think we had a hand up most of the time, at least trying to block the shot or closing out on them.”

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The Hornets shot 5-for-9 and the Cougars 3-for-11 from the floor in the first period resulting in a 16-8 lead for Henryville.

Pirrman hit a 3-pointer one minute into the second period that put the Hornets on top 24-8. A.J. Goecker found his shooting range for Trinity in the second period with four baskets, and Trent Shoemaker added two 3-pointers as the hosts narrowed the gap to 34-25 midway through the period, and Henryville held 39-29 at the break.

The teams traded points the early part of the third period leaving Henryville on top 45-35. The Hornets were leading 49-37 when they went on an 8-0 run to build their lead to 20, and held a 57-43 lead going into the fourth period.

“They played really well,” Stuckwisch said of the Hornets. “They outplayed us in every aspect of the game. They wanted it more than we did. They played a lot harder than we did.

“I don’t know, maybe we had too rough a game (Friday) night (51-44 loss at Indianapolis Lutheran). I don’t want to make excuses. We had a rough game and we came out a little flat on that end of it.”

Four Cougars reached double figures in the scoring column as Tyler Goecker netted 19 points, A.J. Goecker 15, Shoemaker 12 and Mitchell Hackman 10.

Stuckwisch said he the Cougars were unable to get into the offensive flow as well as he was hoping for.

“I think their defense kind of took us out of it," he said. "I think they played really good (man to man) defense. They switched a lot, had a lot of pressure on the ball. They kind of took us out of our rhythm and out of the flow of our offense.”

Kade Badger added 22 points and Westin Allen 19 for the Hornets.

Henryville (3-10) made 29 field goals and the Cougars had 25.

“The first half we played straight up man-to-man," Stuckwisch. "The second half we attempted to try to stop (Badger). He was driving on us and getting layups and could do just about anything he wanted to. We went and denied the ball and matched up with everybody else. That worked for a little bit until they kind of figured it out.”

Trinity junior Josh Rowe saw his first action of the season Friday at Indianapolis after recovering from a knee injury and had a basket and three rebounds against Henryville.

Stuckwisch said he is glad to have Rowe back.

“Josh helped us out a lot in the game last night up at Indianapolis," he said. "It gave us a little bit more of a rotation. He’s still a little bit rusty, and a little bit out of shape, but we look for him to help benefit us down the road and the rest of the season.”

The Cougars (3-11) will host Shawe Memorial Friday night.

“We’ve got to come back and work hard again,” Stuckwisch said. “In Friday night’s game the press caused some problems, we’ve got to work on breaking the press; and from tonight we’ve got to work against pressure defense on ball handling and rebounding.”

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