It was a battle between two of the top teams in the state of Indiana in Class 1A basketball on Tuesday night as No. 8 Trinity Lutheran welcomed in No. 1 Lanesville.
The Eagles showed why they are deserving of the top ranking by defeating the Cougars 70-47 to improve to 18-1 on the season.
The final score doesn’t truly indicate how competitive Trinity was for a majority of this game, though.
The Cougars jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a 3-pointer by Liza Froedge and an and-one opportunity from Jordan Brewer.
Lanesville had a response, going on an 11-0 run to take the lead. Bailey Tabeling, Trinity’s leading scorer, got on the board late in the first quarter when she was fouled on a 3-point attempt. Tabeling knocked down all three free throws.
Lanesville held a 14-10 advantage after the first quarter.
“We knew that they were going to press us,” head coach Mike Lang said. “I thought we were able to keep them out of traps tonight, but we didn’t attack like we wanted to attack.”
The Eagles stretched their lead out to double digits in the second quarter, but a 3-pointer from Brewer reeled the Cougars back in. Trinity trailed 29-21 at halftime, and Tabeling led the team with 10 points.
“We were down eight at halftime, and I’m thinking you know we’ve left a lot of points off the board, and we’re playing pretty good here,” Lang said. “Great teams come out and do what they did in the second half.”
Lanesville got back up 13 in the third quarter, seeming like the game could get out of hand, but Trinity responded again. Froedge converted an and-one after a hard drive to the basket, and Tabeling kept her scoring entourage going, and Trinity cut it to ten points, 47-37, heading into the final frame.
The fourth quarter is where the game got out of hand. The Eagles started the quarter on a 13-0 run, which put them up 60-37 with 4:54 remaining. That run eliminated all hope for a Trinity comeback as the Cougars went on to lose by 23.
Linzie Wernert was a tough cover all game, leading Lanesville with 25 points on the night.
“Werner is a load,” Lang said. “Maybe Madison (Keith) is our best option physicality-wise. It’s a tough guard for Bailey and Liza both. She’s a nice player.”
One of Trinity’s best shooters, Kailene Cockerham, was not at full strength as she has been battling illness over the past couple of days.
“We gotta get Kailene back, that way we’re running our offense,” Lang said. “We just have to get healthy as a team.”
Tabling led the Cougars with 28 points, making five 3-pointers on the night.
“She’s a gamer,” Lang said. “Bailey is like Sydney (Jaynes). She’s a generational-type player. They don’t come around very often. We gotta stop standing around and watching what Bailey is doing. We got to have everybody playing their game.”
Froedge added 12 points and Brewer scored seven to round out the scoring for Trinity.
Lang does not believe his eighth-ranked Cougars team is 23 points worse than top-ranked Lanesville.
“I know they’re not a 25 or 30-point team better than us,” Lang said. “We can compete better than what we did.”
The Cougars, now 11-6 on the season, will look to bounce back at home on Friday when they play host to Brown County. JV tips at 6 p.m. with varsity to follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.
“You’re gonna have games like this,” Lang said. “We just have to learn how to compete non-stop, play 32 minutes and battle.”