For The Tribune
The Trinity Lutheran girls basketball team got out of its normal routine Wednesday against Borden, and assistant coach Brittany Creutz said it showed on the scoreboard.
“I think we had an off night as far as starting off out of our routine as far as no school, no JV game, coming straight into the varsity game,” she said.
As a result, Borden outscored Trinity 11-2 during the final 3:30 to post a 48-41 win in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.
“We were out of our routine, we were slow and it was a bad night.” Creutz said.
Trinity’s Jodi Goecker made two free throws with 3:42 remaining in the fourth quarter to put her team on top 39-37.
Borden scored the next six points to move on top 43-39 with 1:14 remaining.
Goecker drove for a layup with a minute remaining to make it a 43-41 game, but that turned out to be Trinity’s final points, as Natalie Ruedinger scored Borden’s final five points.
“We knew they had their one main player (Reudinger), and during our practices, we went over it and over it, but we couldn’t get our defense set up and shut her down,” Creutz said.
Ruedinger topped all players with 24 points on seven field goals and 10 for 12 at the free-throw line. In the fourth quarter, she had one basket and was 7 for 8 at the line.
Borden (2-2) shot 18 for 45 from the floor for the night, while Trinity (3-2) was 17 for 46. The difference came at the line, where the Braves were 12 for 17 and the Cougars made just 3 of 7. Borden was called for nine fouls, and Trinity was whistled for 20.
“Offensively, I don’t think we went to the boards very strong, and we just had a slow night,” Creutz said.
Trinity held a 32-30 advantage on the boards. Piper Acton led the Cougars with seven, while Ruedinger pulled down 10 for the Braves.
Both teams lacked continuity on offense during the first four minutes of the game by committing five turnovers apiece. Trinity overcame the sluggish start to take an 8-4 lead on Maddie Roark’s second basket of the game at the 3:40 mark.
Morgan Gabbard came off of the bench to drain a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left in the quarter, and Whitney Rogers added a late basket to help the Cougars to a 13-12 lead going into the second quarter.
After the Braves went on top 14-13, Roark scored a basket, Miranda Murphy scored back-to-back goals and Goecker hit a 3-pointer to boost Trinity’s lead to 22-14. The Cougars led 29-20 at the break.
A 3-pointer by Gabbard put the Cougars on top 34-25 with 2:42 left in the third quarter. But the Braves went on an 8-0 run to close to 34-33 with 6:01 left in the game.
Roark topped the Cougars in scoring with 12 points, and Goecker added 10.
“We definitely need to pick up our intensity,” Creutz said. “We’re trying to get the girls to be much more aggressive. They want to hold back a little bit, and they need to get on the floor for the 50-50 balls and just be stronger and working harder. Right now, we’re physically weak, and we need to be strong and hold our ground.”
The Cougars will try to get back in the win column Saturday night at Southwestern (Shelby).