The Trinity Lutheran boys basketball team won every quarter but the opening eight minutes, as they managed a 50-41 victory against Switzerland County on Saturday.
The Pacers had two starters who were 6-foot-7, and the Cougars had some trouble adjusting to their opponents’ size at first.
Junior Hunter Hayes came out and scored the Pacers’ first 10 points, as the Cougars fell behind 13-7.
The Cougars came out in a man-to-man defense after opening eight minutes, and at times double teamed Hayes, as he only scored three points the rest of the way.
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Keegan Rebber, Chad Stuckwisch, and Dylan Maschino all hit 3-pointers in the second quarter, to bring the Cougars even at 21-21 going into the locker room.
The third quarter was close until Trinity Lutheran senior Daniel Horton scored on a three point play to make it 37-32.
The Pacers then scored back-to-back baskets, before Trinity’s Sam Marksberry hit a three at the buzzer to give the Cougars at 40-36 third quarter lead.
Horton hit a jumper and added a layup at the 2:40-mark to put his team up 44-40.
Horton was fouled twice driving to the basket, as he hit all four free throw and would finish seven-for-seven from the line.
“We came out slow but re-established our momentum,” Cougars coach Aaron Rudzinski said. “After that first quarter, I believe we won each quarter. I was really happy with the way the boys closed the game out at the end.
“We’ve talked a lot about cutting our turnovers down. Down the stretch we increased the pressure a lot and I thought we did a good job taking care of the ball.”
Leading scorers for the Cougars were Horton with 19, Rebber at 11, Maschino tallied nine and Stuckwisch added eight.
Horton also led the Cougars with six rebounds, and the team tallied 22 total boards.
The Cougars only had seven turnovers for the game, as they handled the ball with poise.
Rebber also had three key blocks to help his team on the defensive end.
Trinity Lutheran now has a record of 10-6, and next plays at home on Tuesday versus Southwestern (Shelbyville).