SEYMOUR — Trinity Lutheran’s boys basketball team opened the 2017-18 season with a 95-75 win against South Decatur on Tuesday night, spoiling South Decatur coach Kendall Wildey’s return to the hardwood.
The host Cougars used a hot offense to seal the win and had four players in double figures. AJ Goecker led Trinity with 26, followed by Trent Shoemaker with 23, Tyler Goecker with 20 and Jacob Rowe with 19.
Trinity overcame a 31-point effort from South Decatur’s Matt Cornett. Brandon Benge added 16 points, and Jacob Watts had 15.
Trinity coach Brian Stuckwisch said he was thrilled with the result and said it was unexpected.
“I thought it would be a lot closer and was looking for a close game,” he said. “Both teams are similar in athletic ability, players and experience, so I wasn’t expecting to win like this.”
Trinity jumped to a quick 5-0 lead to start the game with Goecker scoring a layup and a 3-pointer. South Decatur answered right back with a 3 from Brandon Benge and a three-point play from Matt Cornett.
Trinity then built a 12-7 lead behind a 3-pointer from Shoemaker and then two more free throws from Goecker. The first quarter ended with Trinity ahead 24-21.
The second quarter began with Trinity earning two points from the free-throw line from Shoemaker, but South Decatur took advantage of a quiet offense from the host team and found itself up 34-31.
Trinity then began to answer back with multiple trips to the free throw line and a 3-pointer. In the closing minutes of the half, Trinity went on a 7-2 run and led 44-36 at the half.
Trinity unloaded in the second half, scoring 51 points. It outscored South Decatur 29-20 in the third quarter and created that margin with the 3-pointer. Shoemaker had three, Jacob Rowe added two and Josh Rowe had one. Trinity went up 73-56 heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was much of the same. Trinity outscored South Decatur 22-19 in the quarter to seal the win.
“This is a great way to start our season,” Stuckwisch said.