Trinity gives all, but falls to Barr-Reeve



The way their shots bounced off the rim at Jack Butcher Arena Saturday morning, Trinity Lutheran basketball players had to wonder if someone had put a lid on their basket.

The Cougars simply could not get their inside shots to fall early against top-ranked Barr-Reeve in the Class 1A Loogootee Regional and were knocked out of the tournament by the Vikings 63-38.

Trinity coach Ryan Crase said he couldn’t ask for anything more from his Cougars, who shot 1-for-8 from the floor in the opening period to trail 12-2 after eight minutes of action. Jack Marksberry scored Trinity’s basket at the 5:10-mark to tie the game at 2-2.

“It was a game where I was really proud of our defense,” Crase said. “In the first half we held them to a low total (21 points).

“We knew in the second half they were going to make more shots than they did in the first half. Even though you contest those guys, they’re streaky. They eventually started hitting them, but we could not score.”

Trinity hurt itself.

“We could not finish around the basket,” Crase said. “We could not score to keep up. If you would have told me before the game that they would score 63, I’d have said that’s a pretty good total to hold them to. We’ve been averaging right around 62 points ourselves. Today we missed more three-footers than we made.”

The Cougars (12-14) finished the game shooting 14-for-40 from the floor, and the Vikings shot 22-for-35.

“We had a shot chart and we missed 17 three-footers,” Crase said. “It’s hard to win when you’re letting 34 points go right out the door.”

The Cougars matched the Vikings in scoring in the second period at 9-9 with Tyler Goecker scoring two baskets and a free throw to lead Trinity in the period.

Trinity’s shooting finally picked up in the third period (5-for-9), with Goecker and Hudson Norton hitting three-pointers.

Barr-Reeve’s top two scorers, Curt Hopf, who is 6-foot-9, and Hagen Knepp got hot in the third period to help their team outscore Trinity 26-14. Knepp had 7 points, including a three, while Hopf shot 6-for-7 from the floor, and made all four of his free throws for 16 points as Barr-Reeve took a 47-25 lead into the fourth.

Marksberry scored all 13 of Trinity’s points in the fourth period and topped the 1,000-point mark for his career, finishing with 1,003.

Crase said Marksberry could have reached the 1,000 mark a lot earlier this season if he hadn’t missed his first eight games because of a shoulder injury.

“I was proud of our effort,” Crase said. “Our defense never let up. We played as hard as we could the whole time. The effort was always there, we just couldn’t finish today.”

Hopf finished with 26 points and Knepp had 18.

“When you see them on film it doesn’t do them justice,” Crase said. “The big kid (Hopf) is an excellent finisher. He gets great post position. You fight him and fight him, but he fights back. He never stops moving, and when you’ve got that many shooters around the perimeter you can’t really help down a lot because they just kick it out to a shooter and hit a three.

“They are a tough team with a lot of weapons. If you’re going to beat them you’ve got to play the defense like we did and hit shots at the same time.”

Jacob Sabotin had the assignment of guarding Hopf part of the game. Trinity’s tallest player at 6-4 said,” I was just trying to get him out of the paint and keep him from scoring. He was one of their biggest weapons on offense. He is really good and he is going to college.

“It was just a really cool experience playing in the regional with my teammates and playing with Jack and Tyler and Lawson (Woods). It was an awesome feeling.”

Goecker praised Barr-Reeve.

“Their defense was incredible,” he said. “They had a really tough big guy who fought us in the paint really hard. He got a lot of rebounds (12). We missed 17 ‘bunnies’ and you really can’t have that against the No. 1 team in the state.

“It was a really fun season. It’s been a blessing to be a Cougar, that’s for sure. I want to thank God, and friends and family for everything they have given me, especially my teammates.”

Woods, a senior, hurt a wrist and had surgery on Jan. 28 and didn’t get released to play until after the sectional began.

He saw playing time Saturday and said it was a good feeling to be on the floor again.

“I love the gym here,” Wood said. “It was super nice to get on the court for my last game, especially with all the kids I’ve been growing up with. I’ve grown up with Tyler and Jack, same with Mitchell (Hackman) and Caleb (Williams).”

Crase said he enjoyed coaching the seniors, Goecker, Marksberry and Woods.

“You never had to talk to them before a game,” Crase said. “They’re always pepped up and ready to go. You couldn’t ask for better young men to coach. I love those guys.

“It was a super successful season. We knew we could win that sectional if we got to a point in the season where we were playing our best basketball, and we did. We ran into the No. 1 team in the state and didn’t have a great offensive game.”

Loogootee Regional



Trinity Lutheran- Tyler Goecker 3 2-3 9, Jack Marksberry 8 3-4 21, Jacob Sabotin 0 1-2 1, Mitchell Hackman 1 0-0 2, Hudson Norton 1 0-0 3, Lawson Woods 0 0-0 0, Sage Broughton 1 0-0 2, Kade Hill 0 0-0 0, Charlie Hackman 0 0-0 0, Evan Hunt 0 0-0 0, Caleb Williams 0 0-0 0, Peyton Pollert 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 4-5

Barr-Reeve (26-2) — Kayden Graber 2 0-0 6, Hagen Knepp 7 2-3 18, Curt Hopf 9 7-9 26, Devin Graber 2 1-2 6, Jamison Miller 1 0-0 3, Aaron Wagler 1 0-0 3, Reed Thompson 0 1-2 1, Will Craig 0 0-1 0. Totals 22 11-17 63

3 point goals: TL (Marksberry 2, Goecker, Norton); BR (K. Graber 2, Knepp 2, Hopf, D. Graber, Miller, Wagler)

Rebounds- TL 18 (Marksberry 6, Goecker 4); BR (25 (Hopf 12, Knepp 4)

Turnovers: TL 10; BR 12

Fouls: TL 14; BR 10

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