Trinity tops GCA in top-10 tilt



Trinity Lutheran coach Mike Lang has stressed about his team’s need to get off to a fast start.

On Tuesday night against Class A seventh ranked Greenwood Christian Academy, it was crucial.

The host Cougars went on a 11-2 run to start the battle of top-10 teams in Class A, staved off the visitors’ multiple rallies and won the tilt 59-47.

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It was arguably the toughest Class A test for either side so far this season and could be preview of a potential semistate matchup between the two squads in late February should they both make it that far. 

Lang was pleased with the effort his girls put out to start the game, but was even prouder of the way they finished the game out against a quality opponent. 

"We got off to the quick start and the one thing I told them was you’re not going to win the game in the first four minutes, but you can definitely set the tone," Lang said. "I think we set the tone and that is such a good basketball team to do that against."

While Greenwood Christian Academy got punched in the mouth early, they weren’t about to get steamrolled by the second-ranked team in the class. 

Slowly and surely they climbed their way back into the game behind Izzy Reed and a perfect first-quarter effort from the free-throw line. 

Reed led GCA with 14 points. 

Getting the game to within one, 13-12, at the end of opening stanza, coach Alan Weems was happy to see his girls absorb the opening salvo from Trinity and fight back.

"It’s about how you respond," he said. "I called a timeout and told them they won’t shoot that well all night, they didn’t, we came back on them and we played a pretty good game the rest of the way."

Weems noted Trinity’s size and shooting ability as the keys to their success. 

Trinity junior Sydney Jaynes was chief among those shooters against GCA. The 6-foot-3-inch forward scored 25 points for the host Cougars — earning 1,000 points for her high school career — and was a monster on the boards to earn yet another double-double this season.

Entering the game 18 points shy of the mark, Jaynes had no idea she was on the cusp of becoming the second player in Trinity’s history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. For four minutes in the third quarter, she sat on 16 points and passed the ball to open teammates instead of looking to score.

For her, it’s about doing what’s best for the team and putting their success ahead of her own.

"I never really think about myself," she said. "My parents and coaches are always getting on me to score points and it’s always about the team for me. As long as we’re winning, I don’t really care."

The host Cougars rode that unselfishness to the finish line as both Jaynes and Bailey Tabeling found easy basket after easy basket to put GCA away.

Both coaches stated they learned a lot about each other’s teams and know their players are itching for a rematch in the state tournament. 

Jaynes was not the only Trinity player to net 20-plus points as Tabeling added in 21. Hannah Sabotin contributed nine, Kailene Cockerham scored three and Emma Schepman had one. 

For Greenwood Christian Academy, Alexis Mead and Savannah Frye each scored in double figures with 12 and 10, respectively. Ellie Bigelow and Dory O’Dell rounded out the scoring for the visiting Cougars with six and four, respectively. 

In junior varsity action, Trinity Lutheran allowed just five points in the first half en route to a 41-14 win. 

Hannah Durham led the way for Trinity Lutheran with 12 points. Kathryn Whitmore, Kayla Goecker, Emma Myers and Genesis Munoz each scored six, and Emma Schepman chipped in five.

The Cougars now turn their attention to sectional foe West Washington. They’ll face the Senators, who they’ve battled in the last two sectional finals, on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Campbellsburg. 

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