The Trinity Lutheran boys basketball team suffered through a subpar second half against Greenwood Christian and lost 49-44 in the historic Hoosier Gym on Saturday.
Greenwood held a 29-28 lead at halftime. Both teams cooled off offensively in the third quarter, and a free throw by Kendall White put Trinity on top 35-33 with 2:04 on the clock.
White made another free throw at 1:15, but that turned out to be Trinity’s last point of the quarter as Greenwood held a 39-36 lead entering the fourth.
Trinity shot only 2-for-11 from the floor, and committed six turnovers in being outscored 10-8 in the third period.
Trinity’s Matt McKay converted a 3-point play with 6:42 left in the game to tie it at 39-39, and White drove for a layup at 3:01 to give the Cougars their final lead of the night.
Greenwood went on a 7-0 run to open up a 46-41 led. A 3-pointer by Jacob Rowe with 1:29 remaining cut the difference to 46-44, but that was Trinity’s final points of the night.
Trinity shot 3-for-13 from the floor and committed five turnovers while scoring 8 points in the fourth period.
Trinity coach Brian Stuckwisch said his team faced a strong defense.
“Their defense was pretty good,” he said. “We also didn’t move the ball. I would have liked to have seen us reverse the ball and get higher percentage shots. When we did have shots, we didn’t make them, and our turnovers were really the key to the game.
“We had too many turnovers (20) to win a game this close.”
The opening quarter featured a run by each team. Rowe hit a 3-pointer, Colton Wischmeier drove for a layup, and White scored a layup on an offensive rebound for a 9-0 score at 4:30.
Greenwood came right back with a 10-0 run and led 10-9 following a layup by Payton Modlin with 2:11 on the clock.
White added two more baskets in the final 1:16 of the quarter, but Greenwood was on top 15-14 heading into the second period, and scored the first five points to lead 20-14.
Wischmeier hit a 3-pointer, Stuckwisch hit a long one from beyond the arch, and drove for two baskets in the final minute and Skyler Stahl added a layup at the 2:10 mark, as Trinity outscored Greenwood 14-8 over the final 6:25 of the half to trail 29-28 at the half.
White had four baskets in the first period, but didn’t score a point in the second, and had only two free throws in the third, and coach Stuckwisch said his team didn’t do a good enough job of feeding the ball to White in the post.
“I think their pressure defense stepped up and we couldn’t get the ball into him,” he said. “That’s where I think we should have reversed the ball a couple more times, and I think we could have.”
The Hoosier Gym floor is shorter in length and width than a regular floor, and Stuckwisch said he had to coach a little different than he does on larger courts.
“It depends on what kind of team you’ve got,” Stuckwisch said. “If you’ve got a big team, that’s to your advantage on a smaller court.
“If you have a smaller team with a lot of guards, which both teams did have, it can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your personnel. But it does shrink the court a little bit and your offense is kind of compacted a little bit where you don’t have near as much room to work.”
White topped Trinity with 12 points and 16 rebounds, and Stuckwisch added 10 points.
Modlin topped Greenwood (4-9) with 17 points.
Stuckwisch said he felt like his team let the game get away.
“All of our team in the lockeroom felt like we were the better team,” he said. “We should have won the game and we didn’t come through with the win. We had a lot of turnovers and bad decisions in the second half.”
He said it was a good experience playing on the floor where part of the movie Hoosiers was filmed.
“They had a lot of fun,” Stuckwisch said. “It was a good experience. It was the first time I’ve been here and I enjoyed it so I know they did. We got here early and they got to shoot around and take pictures. The parents were here. I would recommend it to just about any team that wants to do it. It’s very entertaining, it’s like a museum.”