In their first-ever school appearance at the Toby Yoho Classic, hosted by Eastern Greene, the Trinity Lutheran girls basketball team came to compete.
The Cougars started their pool play with a 57-44 victory against Paoli before coming up just short against Riverton Parke 41-40.
In Game 1 against Paoli, the Cougars started out slow but were able to take a 26-22 lead heading into halftime thanks to solid play from their bench.
Morgan Gabbard buried a 3-pointer to open the second quarter, putting Trinity up 19-15 before the teams battled back and fourth in the period.
With 10 seconds on the clock, Gabbard hit another trey to give the Cougars a four-point lead at intermission.
“I thought we came out a little sluggish, but that was to be expected with so much time out of the gym,” Cougars coach Mike Lang said. “We executed on our press the way we should have and withstood the storm. I felt we competed in the first half, and that was the main thing.”
Six straight points by Cougars sophomore Maddie Roark gave Trinity a 34-29 advantage at the 3:23 mark of the third quarter.
Piper Acton’s 3-pointer with 34 ticks on the clock gave Trinity a 40-31 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
The Cougars opened the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run and never looked back as they cruised to the win.
Gabbard led the Cougars with 13 points, Abby Hackman added 12, and Roark finished with 11.
Jacqlyn Rice, a 5-foot-9 freshman, led the Rams with 18 points on seven made field goals.
The Cougars went 19 of 27 from the free-throw line on the game on 20 Paoli fouls.
“When teams plays us man-to-man, we do a great job of getting to the line,” Lang said. “We were fortunate to see that a lot today. We established the post early and then other players were able to drive to the basket.”
Against Riverton Parke, the Cougars couldn’t convert on a final shot attempt at the buzzer to pull away with a win.
The Cougars would lead around the 2:45 mark in the fourth but couldn’t hold to the advantage.
At halftime, Trinity was up 27-26 before outscoring Riverton 28-24 in the third quarter.
Roark topped Trinity with 12 and Hackman tallied nine points.
“We had a mental lapse,” Lang said. “We never were quite in control of the game. We missed a runner at the buzzer and didn’t go in. It was a game of a lot of missed opportunities for us.”
The Cougars will play Boonville at 11:15 a.m. today in more tournament action.
A game will be played later that night — subject to results.
“I think we played really good,” Lang said. “Our competition was strong. I felt like we held our own with them. I think (Tuesday) we will only see Class 3A schools.”