For The Tribune
It was too little, too late, for Trinity Lutheran in the Class 1A Sectional 15 at West Washington on Friday night.
The Cougars, sparked by nine points from Chad Stuckwisch and seven from Keegan Rebber, outscored Borden 25-14 to trail 60-53 following a 3-pointer by Rebber with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
Borden’s Nathan Bachman hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Braves momentum going into the fourth quarter on the way to a 92-75 win.
The Braves finished with nine 3-pointers in the contest.
Trinity coach Aaron Rudzinski said the Braves did not make a 3-pointer during their 65-56 win in the Cougars Den on Dec. 22.
“We didn’t anticipate that,” Rudzinski said. “The first time we played them they did not make a single 3-pointer. We had scouted them prior to that game and saw them hit several 3s, and we expected them to shoot 3s, but they back-doored us all day and posted guys up.
“This game they obviously proved they know how to shoot, and they were lighting it up from all over the place. At times we had put some kind of pressure on them. Sometimes we had a lot of pressure, and sometimes we didn’t. We gave them too many open looks. There is no excuse for giving up 92 points.”
The Braves used a strong perimeter game to take control from the start as they hit five 3-pointers in the opening quarter.
A layup by Bobby Tabeling left the Cougars trailing 8-6 at the 6:15-mark before the Braves went on a 7-0 run and led 25-14 at the end of the first.
Nathan Bachman led the Braves’ outside game with three 3-pointers in the opening period, and he added three free throws, while Caleb Hart added a 3-pointer and two baskets inside plus a pair of free throws.
Borden held a 28-18 lead early in the second quarter before going on a 12-0 run to extend its lead to 40-18.
The Cougars finally broke their dry spell on a 3-pointer by Jacob Schult at 3:05.
Hart added three baskets and made all six of his free throws in the second period to help the Braves to a 46-28 lead at the half.
Trinity shot only 4 of 16 from the floor in the second quarter, 10 of 30 for the half and committed nine turnovers while Borden shot 14 for 25 in the half.
Schult led the Cougars with 11 points in the second quarter.
“We had to figure things out, and at halftime we talked about getting back in the game,” Rudzinski said. “I felt we were as good a team or better than they were, but obviously we didn’t play that well the whole game.
“In the third quarter I told them if we got some stops and came down and made some baskets and get the momentum going our way, we could make a game of it, and we did. We had it down to seven, and they made a 3 at the end of the quarter, and that hurt.”
Horton topped the Cougars in points with 25 and rebounds at 13.
Stuckwisch added 19 points, Dylan Maschino scored 12 and Schult had 10.
Bachman topped the Braves (16-8) with 32 points, and Hart added 29.
Borden made 27 of 36 free throws, and Trinity made 21 on 27 attempts as 41 fouls were called total.
Trinity finished their season at 17-8.