For The Tribune

HOPE

One thing the Trinity Lutheran girls basketball team struggled with most of its game Saturday at Hauser was controlling the basketball.

Turnovers played a big role for the Cougars, leading to several points at the other end for the Jets. Despite the turnovers, Trinity managed to stay in the game, but late free throws by Hauser sent the Cougars home with a 38-34 loss.

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Trinity coach Mike Lang says that team needs to do a better job at executing on offense and limiting those turnovers.

“It has been a point of emphasis for us, and that is taking care of the basketball,” Lang said. “We have to do a better at executing down low more. The kids are getting hung up down low and can’t move in the post. It’s tough.”

After Hauser’s Tori Chandler picked up her second foul early in the first quarter, the Jets offense hit a bit of a snag and the Cougars (0-2) took advantage by scoring eight straight points to end the first quarter leading 10-4.

“We got the shots we wanted, but we were a little stagnant on offense,” Hauser coach Brad Hamilton said. “With Tori being new, we have not put a lot in yet. I’m proud we managed getting threw her two fouls early in the game.”

Both teams kept trading baskets until the Jets (2-0) found a little surge by scoring the final five points of the first half to cut the Trinity lead 18-17.

A Taylor Henderson basket with 1:35 left in third quarter gave Hauser a 21-20 advantage, its first lead since they scored the opening basket. The Cougars still maintained a 25-24 advantage after the third quarter.

Foul trouble was an issue for Trinity down the stretch. A few starters fouled out in the closing minutes, which allowed the Jets to take advantage at the free-throw line.

Whitney Rogers led the Cougars with 10 points. Morgan Gabbard had seven points and Jodi Goecker added six.

“Jodi had a tough defensive assignment, and were keen to Jodi defensively, but we just can’t have those turnovers like we had today,” Lang said.

It doesn’t get easier for Trinity, which has a third road game to start the season against Brownstown Central on Tuesday.

“We are a team that is still looking for its identity,” Lang said. “It is only going to get tougher come Tuesday night. We have to do a better job executing and put ourselves in a position to not have three or four starters out of the game sitting on the bench because of foul trouble.”

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James Pence is a sports correspondent for The Republic.