CAMPBELLSBURG — In the fourth quarter, the contest came down to the most basic facet of the game — free throws.
Trinity Lutheran’s girls basketball team came through in the clutch in their biggest moment of 2018.
The Cougars (21-5) sank 17 of 22 free throws to help secure the Sectional 62 trophy Saturday, defeating host West Washington 55-34. It was the third time the program has cut down the nets, and first time since the 2013-14 season.
“It has been a fantastic year,” Trinity coach Mike Lang said. “These kids have endured three first round loss over the past three years. I’m just proud of them. Words can’t really put into perspective how proud I am of them.”
The Cougars (21-5) came out fired up off the opening tip. After the Senators (16-9) opened with a basket, Trinity scored seven unanswered points to lead by five with 4:05 left in the first quarter before a timeout was called.
Out of the huddle, the Cougars extended their scoring streak to lead 13-2 with 2:47 on the clock. In the stretch, Savannah Harweger and Abby Hackman each scored four points, and Piper Acton hit a 3-pointer. After eight minutes of play, Trinity led 13-4.
Following a score from West Washington’s Cora Miller, Hackman hit a jumper and split free throws to put the Cougars up 16-6 midway through the second quarter. Trinity wouldn’t score again before the break, and the Senators took advantage by adding five points to their total. At the break, the Cougars led 16-11.
Out of intermission, Trinity slowly built the lead until a 3-pointer from Piper Acton and basket by Savannah Harweger extended the Cougars’ lead to 27-19 with 3:15 left in the quarter. In the final 2:39 of the period, Trinity went 9 for 10 from the charity stripe to lead 36-26 at the end of 24 minutes.
All 19 of the Cougars’ points in the final quarter came from the free-throw line. Making 6 of 8 from the 6:20- to 4:34-mark, the Cougars built a 46-28 advantage with four minutes remaining. Running out the clock, Trinity was able to hit enough free throws to secure the win.
Hackman led the Cougars with 14 points, and Harweger chipped in 12.
The Cougars will return to West Washington for regional play Saturday.