Cougars top Crothersville, advance to sectional final


Trinity Lutheran took an 11-0 lead after five minutes to play in the first quarter and went on to a 62-36 win over Crothersville Friday night in the Class A West Washington sectional.

Bailey Tabeling had the hot hand from the beginning with her 3-point basket with three minutes left in the first period giving the Cougars 11-0 lead.

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Tabeling scored 11 points in the first period to spark the Cougars to a 15-5 lead.

Crothersville started out shooting 0-for-8 before Grace Wilson finally scored with 2:45 on the clock. Crothersville’s only other points in the quarter came on a 3-point shot by Isabell Lewis.

The Tigers finished 2-for-15 in the quarter.

The game started the way Trinity coach Mike Lang was hoping for while Tigers’ coach Kevin Hensley said the start was a killer for his team.

“The first time we played them early in the year Kevin controlled the tempo and did a good job of that,” Lang said. “That is something we wanted to take away early, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”

According to Hensley, the deciding factor early for the Tigers was just not seeing the ball go into the hole.

“We couldn’t make a basket,” Hensley said. “We were getting the shots; we just weren’t putting them in the basket.

“I don’t know if it was nerves or what, because a lot of times, we were putting too much on our shots and the ball would go over the rim.”

Going into the game Hensley was concerned with Tabeling and Trinity’s fastbreak, and a lot of her basket came on layups.

“She’s a great player and we don’t have the type of defense we need to slow her down,” he said. “We fall asleep when we shouldn’t fall asleep.”

Tabeling stayed hot in the second quarter with three 3-pointers and had 12 points in the quarter and 23 in the half as Trinity lead 31-17 at the break.

Tabeling shot 8-for-12 in the first half and tied her career-high with 36 points as she had nine 2-pointers, five 3’s and three free throws.

Any chances the Tigers had for a comeback at the start of the third period disappeared quickly as Trinity scored the first nine points of the quarter to lead 40-17. Hannah Sabotin had two free throws at 5:33 to give Trinity a 40-17 lead, and the Cougars extended their cushion to 55-23 at the end of the quarter.

Sabotin finished with 11 points, Sydney Jaynes scored seven and topped her team with 11 rebounds.

Emma Goecker scored five, and Emma Schepman, Kayla Goecker and Hannah Durham each had one free throw.

Grace Wilson topped the Tigers (11-12) with 13 points, Makinzee Isley scored eight, Isabell Lewis had three, and Makayla Helt, Addy Cole, Bekah Cook, Zoe Spangler, Kennedi Lakins and Tiessa Stevens scored two each.

The Cougars made 20 field goals and Lang said good shooting helps.

“We had kids knocking shots down,” Lang said. “The ones we did miss Hannah was cleaning them up and did a good job on the offensive boards. You can’t fault the effort Hannah Sabotin puts out. We had a good team effort.”

The Cougars (23-3) will face West Washington at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“We’ve got two down and one more to go and we know it’s going to be a tough one,” Lang said.

Though it wasn’t the way Hensley wanted the season to end for the Tigers, he was proud of the effort from his underclass players.

“We just had too big of a hole to climb out of,” Hensley said. “I was proud of my underclassmen. It was a good experience for them.”