Trinity Lutheran boys basketball coach Ryan Crase says some nights you have to tip your hat to the opponent, and Saturday was one of those nights.
Colin Comer and Lane Sparks combined for 61 points to lead Greensburg to an 89-51 win over Trinity Lutheran in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.
It was Greensburg’s opening game of the season after the Pirates had two games postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Comer ripped the nets for eight 3-pointers and 32 points, and Sparks had a dunk and two 3-pointers among his 29 points.
“They are two of the best players we’ve played against in the last couple years, definitely,’” Crase said. “Those two are more experienced and sometimes you just go out there and get beat by a better team, and especially with the two we’re missing, they were a better team tonight. Our guys fought hard.”
The Cougars (0-4) have been without returning starters, senior Jack Marksberry and junior Mitchell Hackman, all season. Marksberry suffered a shoulder injury and Hackman a sprained ankle, both in pre-season, and both said they hope to be back in two weeks.
Sparks started out hot as he nailed two jumpers, and followed up with his dunk and it was 6-0 with 6:20 on the clock in the first period.
Tyler Goecker lit up Trinity’s side of the scoreboard with a rebound basket at 5:15, but the Pirates stayed hot the remainder of the period by shooting 10-for-12 to take a 21-10 lead.
Goecker hit two free throws, and Hudson Norton followed up with a 3-pointer at the 6-minute mark of the second period, to make it a 21-15 game before the Pirates went on a 16-2 run to lead 39-21 at the half.
The Cougars shot 8-for-24 in the first half and 19-for-55 for the game.
“We missed quite a few layups and quite a few open 3s that we normally knock down,” Crase said. “I think that’s all part of when you start getting behind you start to rush and try to play a little faster and it just kind of all unravels at one time.”
The Cougars were unable to mount any kind of a comeback bid as the Pirates increased their lead to 71-34 going into the fourth period.
Goecker topped the Cougars with 16 points, Norton had 14 and Jacob Sabotin finished with 11.
The Pirates held a 30-20 advantage in rebounds. Goecker was high for Trinity with six.
The Cougars have a busy week, traveling to Austin Tuesday night, to Southwestern (Shelby) Friday and hosting West Washington Saturday night.
“First of all, we need to work on defense in transition,” Crase said. “We probably won’t play a team of that caliber the rest of the season that can run at the rate that they can.
“If we can learn to manage peoples’ transition, play better help side defense…. There are a lot of takeaways from this game that I think we can work on.”
Crase said his team did not come up short in the hustle department.
“Everybody I put in played 100 percent and sometimes you don’t get that,” he said. “Tonight everybody battled and played as hard as they could.
“The execution at times wasn’t there. When you play a team like that, and you’re already over-matched, you have to be almost perfect.”
Greensburg 89, Trinity Lutheran 51
Trinity Lutheran (0-4) — Hudson Norton 6 0-1 14, Tyler Goecker 6 2-2 16, Jacob Sabotin 5 0-0 11, Lawson Woods 0 0-0 0, Evan Hunt 1 1-3 3, Sage Broughton 1 1-2 3, Kade Hill 0 2-2 2, Caleb Williams 0 2-2 2, Charlie Hackman 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-12 51.
Greenburg (1-0) — Colin Comer 12 0-0 32, Ki Dyer 4 1-1 9, Lane Sparks 12 3-4 29, Brendan Stanley 4 4-4 12, Dakota Walters 1 0-0 2, Addison Pettit 2 0-0 4, Abe Tebbe 0 1-2 1. Totals 35 9-11 89.
3-point goals TL (Norton 2, Goecker 2, Sabotin), G (Comer 8, Sparks 2)
Rebounds: TL 20 (Goecker 6, Norton 4), G 30 (Stanley 8)
Turnovers: TL 13, G 11. Fouls: TL 11, G 9.
Greenburg 51, Trinity 31
Trinity Lutheran (0-2) — Hackman 14, Broughton 11, Kowan gross 5, Peyton Pollert 1.