For The Tribune
The Trinity Lutheran boys’ basketball team entered the weekend with a defensive average of 61 points per game.
That number dropped by a few points, following a 47-40 win against Indianapolis Lutheran on Friday night, and fell by a few more numbers Saturday night after the Cougars came home with a 48-38 win over Henryville.
Cougars coach Aaron Rudzinski said he was not surprised with those opponents’ point totals considering they play a ball-control style offense.
“Henryville is a lot like Lutheran — they really slow the ball, they like a slower tempo,” Rudzinski said. “We knew it would be a lower-scoring game.
“I thought the second half we did a lot better defensively and stopped them, mostly when we switched over to the 2-3 zone. It prevented that screen that they kept doing with (Nick Walker). We struggled with that for a few possessions. When we switched over to the 2-3 that seemed to shut that down.”
The Hornets held a 12-8 early in the second period when Dylan Maschino brought a roar from the Trinity fans with a 3-pointer.
Daniel Horton scored from close range, and Maschino followed with another 3-pointer before Horton added another basket in the closing seconds for an 18-17 lead at the break.
Walker had nine points in the first half.
The score was tied five times in the third period before the Hornets moved on top 31-30 as time expired.
Horton opened the fourth quarter scoring with a three-point-play, and that started the Cougars on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good.
Trinity outscored Henryville 18-7 in the fourth period with Horton scoring seven points, Chad Stuckwisch made five straight free throws before missing, and Maschino made a pair of layups.
Horton topped the Cougars (7-5) with 18 points, Maschino scored 12 and Stuckwisch 11.
“Teams seem to key in on Daniel when we’re posting him up,” Rudzinski said. “I told the guys that someone has to step up and make a play on the outside because we were trying to feed him in the post, and they’re playing weak side help, and really cheating over and watching for the lob or maybe looking to double-team the post.
“We were trying to get the guys to recognize the skip pass a little bit better and tried to change our approach a little bit and tried to get more screening away instead of cutting off of our offense, to try to open things up a little bit.
“Chad is important to our team because he really controls the tempo of the game. We’ve talked a lot about handling pressure first, and a real opportunity at the varsity level to be playing a significant amount of time. We’ll take what we can get from him at this point. He’s really stepping up and being a good leader. He wants the ball late in the game, and I’m really proud of him stepping up and hitting those free throws late in the game.”
Six players scored for Trinity and only four scored for Henryville. Trinity shot 17-for-33 from the floor to 15-for-39 for Henryville.
Walker topped the Hornets (6-4) with 17 points and Thomas Green added 15.
“Walker is a tough player,” Rudzinski said. “He’s only a sophomore. Their top scorer (Braxton) Robertson, seemed to have some sort of an ankle injury and or something and seemed to be limping around a little bit.”
The loss snapped a four-game win streak for the Hornets.