Cougar clash: Trinity Lutheran uses strong third quarter to push past South Decatur


Trinity Lutheran’s girls basketball team battled more than South Decatur Thursday night.

The Class A No. 8 Cougars had their own version of “The Flu Game.”

While almost half of the Cougars’ roster has battled illness over the past week, Trinity was able to rally to a 50-38 win over South.

“We had four of our five kids that finished the game out with the stomach flu, or different viruses,” Trinity coach Mike Lang said. “We had kids out three to four days. They sucked it up. They were exhausted. They left everything on the floor tonight.”

In the first half, Sydney Jaynes accounted for 15 of the Cougars’ 19 points.

The teams tied five times in a turnover-plagued opening quarter.

Trinity (15-6) had nine turnovers and South totaled seven, as neither team could get more than a two-point lead.

South (5-16) led 11-10 going into the second quarter. Jaynes had all but two of the Cougars’ points.

A free throw by Sierra Lang and 3-pointer by Madison Owens put South up 15-11 with 6:26 left in the half.

Jaynes scored the Cougars’ next six points to keep the score close, but at intermission South led 22-19.

At the break, the Cougars were on the wrong side of both the rebound (15-8) and turnover (16-11) margins.

In the third quarter, the Cougars got back on track.

A 6-0 run put the Cougars up 26-24 by the 4:46-mark.

In the final 2:19 of the third quarter, Trinity went on a 10-2 run behind five points by Savannah Harweger.

After a pair of free throws and basket by Emma Schepman, the Cougars held a 39-30 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Up 41-36, with three minutes to go, the Cougars were able to win the game on long possessions.

Baskets by Jaynes and Harweger extended the Cougars’ lead to 45-36 with 1:24 left before Trinity hit five of six free throws to seal it.

Jaynes led Trinity with 21 points, Harweger added 14 and Kailene Cockerham chipped in nine. Sierra Lang topped South with 12 points.

Trinity won the rebounding battle 32-25 and finished with 29 turnovers to South’s 24.

“You need play through adversity,” Lang said. “We talk about being ‘road tough.’ Tonight, we were road tough. We gutted it out. South Decatur came and played hard.”

The Cougars will travel to Jennings County Saturday.