Trinity Lutheran’s 61-43 victory against Medora was a little sweeter for Cougars senior Daniel Horton on Friday.
Amassing a game-high 23 points, Horton made school history by setting the all-time career points mark at 883.
“It means a lot to me,” Horton said. “I thank God and my teammates for getting the ball to me to get the record. It’s good to get it right now with a little still left in the season, so we’ll see how high we can get it up there.”
Chad VanLiew previously held the record with 865 in four years.
Trinity took a 15-10 lead after eight minutes of play behind four points by Horton, Bobby Tabeling and Dylan Maschino.
In the second quarter, the Cougars were able to distance themselves early, going on an 11-0 run.
The Hornets’ Mike Jones ended the Cougars’ scoring streak, and Brandon Moore scored three points following a basket from Chase Booker to narrow the deficit to 27-14 at the 2:55 mark.
At the buzzer, Horton hit a step-back jumper from 10 feet to give the Cougars a 35-22 advantage at intermission.
“The first half, I thought we played really well, but we just gave up too many points in transition,” Hornets coach Michael Leitzman said. “We weren’t getting back on defense, which is uncharacteristic of us because usually we do a good job with it.”
Trinity relied on an aggressive, up-tempo offense to take command early.
“One of our focuses was to really lock down on defense,” Cougars coach Aaron Rudzinski said. “A lot of our transition was off rebounds and kick-outs. We wanted to come out and set the tone. We try to do that with our athleticism.”
With 3:44 on the clock in the third quarter, Moore took a charge which got the Hornets fired-up.
Medora was able to get the score to 44-34 by 1:52 behind a basket and free throw from Jones and hits from the charity stripe by Kam Flynn.
“Mike Jones played great off the bench, and in the third quarter Brandon Moore really swung things when he took that charge,” Leitzman said. “After he took that charge, we chipped away at that lead a little bit. Both guys fired us up.”
After 24 minutes, the Cougars led 47-34.
Trinity switched to a 1-3-1 defense to start the fourth quarter, slowing down any Hornets rally.
Leitzman said that the change was a smart move by the Cougars, as the Hornets couldn’t get up high-percentage shots.
The Cougars turned defense to offense, going on a 14-1 run in the first 5:30 of the final minutes.
Trinity won the battle on the glass, out-rebounding the Hornets 33-14 in the contest.
Horton pulled-down 10 rebounds and Tabeling added seven boards.
Tabeling also had 12 points and Keegan Rebber tallied 11.
The Cougars finished 18-for-26 on free throws and Medora was 13-for-19.
Booker and Flynn topped the Hornets (3-12) point totals with nine each.
In the second half, they only had four transition points, but they dominated us on the boards. Every time we got a stop, they got an offensive rebound and put up another shot. I think that was the back-breaker.”
Tonight, Trinity Lutheran (9-6) will host Switzerland County.
Medora’s scheduled game at Rock Creek Academy has been cancelled due to impending weather.