For The Tribune
With three minutes to go in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game against New Washington, Trinity Lutheran girls coach Mike Lang said he felt like his team needed a wake-up call.
After New Washington’s Haley Tye hit a 3-pointer to cut Trinity’s lead to 21-20, Lang called that time out to get his team’s attention.
The Cougars responded to Lang’s message as they went on a 20-1 run the remainder of the half and that sparked Trinity to an 85-53 win in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.
Lang said he had seen his team lack the killer instinct in earlier games.
“We’ve struggled with this, we’ve just been flat,” he said. “I felt we were going through the motions. Their last four games they’ve lost pretty handily, and we told them coming in here that New Washington is looking at us as being a lighter game on their schedule as though as their schedule has been.
“Until three minutes in the first half we were letting them hang around, and it was just time to get a little bit of attention and we responded pretty well.”
Whitney Rogers scored on an offensive rebound, Morgan Gabbard and Maddie Bell hit 3-pointers, Abby Hackman scored three baskets inside, and added three free throws, and Maddie Roark and Jodie Goecker drove for layups and it was a 41-21 lead at the half.
Roark stayed hot in the third period with three 3-pointers and three free throws as Trinity outscored New Washington 25-14 in the quarter to lead 66-35 going into the fourth period.
She had another big night offensively with nine field goals, including four 3-pointers, and 8-for-10 at the line for 30 points.
Hackman had a big night inside with eight baskets and 6-for-10 at the line for 22 points, and she pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
“Abby was getting everything in the middle,” Lang said. “We called it some ‘stat padding.’ She missed her own shot and put it back up. We’ve just got to keep Abby and Anne (Franke) aggressive in the post. The more aggressive they are the more it’s going to open up our perimeter game.”
Rogers finished with 10 rebounds as the Cougars held a 42-19 advantage in that department.
Seven different girls scored for Trinity, as the Cougars shot 30-for-67 from the floor.
They missed tying the school record by two points.
Lang said he was pleased with the offense.
“Their coaches gave us a good compliment,” he said. “As good as their schedule has been all year (facing several 3A and 4A schools), they said we were the team that rotated the ball and rotated better than anybody they had seen.
“We were keeping them off-balance defensively. It allowed us to step up and hit shots, and also freed Abby up in the middle to have a huge night. Maddie (Roark) stepped up and hit some shots in the second half.”
Tye had a big game for the Mustangs (1-17) with seven 3-pointers and a total of 28 points.
“Tye can play,” Lang said. “We wanted to stop her. We’ve got to do a better job on defense if we want to advance in the sectional.”
The Cougars (12-7) will play host to South Decatur at noon Saturday.