Mike Lang couldn’t sleep for a week and a half before Trinity Lutheran’s girls basketball team squared off against Lanesville in the semistate.
The 12-year head coach was up all night watching film, trying to find the best way for his team to combat the top-ranked team in the state.
When the game was all said and done at the New Albany Semistate, Lang had the best sleep that night. He was content, not because his team lost, but because he knew the Cougars left everything they had on that floor against the eventual state champions.
Lang relayed that story at Trinity’s team banquet earlier this week inside the school’s cafeteria. It was a small group of girls this season, but they all gathered with their families to celebrate a successful season one more time.
Trinity was 22-7 on the year, repeated for the fourth straight time as sectional champions and also won a regional championship for the first time in school history.
Lang started by handing out the varsity participants, which went to Bailey Tabeling, Tori Lang, Morgan Brewer, Liza Froedge, Dianna Munoz, Yuika Takahashi, Jordan Brewer, Madison Keith, Laura Roeder, Maddie Adams and Marci Leinart.
Then it was time for the senior awards, and Tabeling was the lone senior on the floor for Trinity this season. Tori, Lang’s daughter, received a senior award as well for being a manager this season.
Tori was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, meaning she couldn’t play basketball or any other cardio-induced sport because it was too dangerous. She never got to hear the applause of a crowd for her efforts on the floor, and she would often ask her dad when she was younger why she couldn’t play sports like the other kids were.
When Mike presented her with the award, he had everyone in attendance give her the applause she was never able to have. It was an emotional standing ovation for the family.
The Cougar coaching staff also presented foreign exchange student Yuika Takahashi with a special Trinity basketball for her to take with her back to Japan.
The Cougar Award, which Lang put a spin on to give out to the player that worked the hardest on the floor, went to Madison Keith.
Keith had 11 double-doubles for the Cougars this season and was the team’s second-leading scorer and team’s leading rebounder.
The most improved award, which Lang said was tough to hand out because everyone improved over the season, was ultimately handed out to Laura Roeder. Roeder averaged 4.5 points per game during the regular season but she ticked it up to 8 points per game in the postseason.
Lastly, it was time for the most valuable player award.
Bailey Tabeling finished her career at Trinity Lutheran with not the only the school record but the Jackson County record for most points scored at 2,226. That mark is also 24th all-time in IHSAA history.
She also had a school record of 462 career assists and 310 career steals. In her four years, Tabeling had a record of 82-25, was a four-time sectional champion, a regional champion and has multiple all-state honors through different organizations.
As she led the team once again this senior season, it was obvious for Lang to present her with the MVP award.
After graduating, Tabeling will go play basketball at Ohio University this fall.
Even though Tabeling was the only senior, it will be a big loss for the program to get used to playing without her. But the Cougars will return a lot of players from this past season and will also bring in a couple of talented freshman.