For The Republic
EDINBURGH — The four seniors on Edinburgh’s boys basketball roster were sixth-graders the day the Lancers lost a Class A semistate classic to Loogootee.
Ironically, it’s the current Lancers squad that gets to play on the Lions’ home floor.
Edinburgh won its first sectional championship since 2012 on Saturday night, riding a balanced scoring attack to defeat Trinity Lutheran 71-59 before a near-capacity home crowd.
Next up is a semifinal date against Christian Academy of Indiana in the morning semifinal of the Loogootee Regional on Saturday. The second game features sixth-ranked Barr-Reeve against Springs Valley.
Story continues below gallery
“I thought we defended the ball really well, and we shared it well,” said first-year Lancers coach Keith Witty, whose team, led by Christian Cox’s 18 points, placed all five starters in double figures. “Guys hit open shots when they had the open shot.”
Cox’s game-high 13 rebounds helped the Lancers (17-8) dominate that aspect of the game 31-19. Coltan Henderson drained three 3-pointers on his way to 13 points for Edinburgh, followed by Justin Fosskuhl (12), point guard Bryce Burton (11) and Parker Bryant (10).
Bryant looks forward to the opportunity to play at Loogootee.
“It’s crazy. It’s something you look forward to as a kid,” he said. “We were there as little kids watching the older kids play. It’s just something you dream of your whole life. It’s just the character of this team. Everyone gets along so well. We’re all so bonded together.
“We pass the ball. We share the ball. There’s no selfish play.”
Trinity (9-17) led on three occasions in the opening quarter and settled in with a 14-12 advantage. But a 10-0 run to open the second quarter propelled the Lancers to a 31-20 halftime lead.
Bryant’s layup started it, followed by the senior’s two free throws. Edinburgh widened the gap on triples from Henderson and Fosskuhl before the Cougars finally stopped the run with a free throw by Tyler Goecker.
Late in the third period, the Lancers, holding on to a 42-35 lead, applied what could have been the key sequence in the game with two baskets in the final 4.9 seconds. It started with a layup by Burton, followed by Henderson’s steal of the ensuing inbounds pass. Henderson hit a short jumper off glass at the buzzer, and suddenly, it was an 11-point cushion.
Edinburgh’s fourth-quarter lead grew as large as 18 points, but a mini-run by Trinity cut it to 10 with 1:26 remaining. The Cougars got as close as nine points twice in the final minute, but Cox’s old-fashioned three-point play at 6.6 seconds closed it out.
“What I like most is how this team has grown together,” Witty said. “We have guys who weren’t with them last year, but if one guy’s not having a good night, he doesn’t get down and finds the other guy who is having a good night. They work well together.”
Jacob Rowe played his final game in a Trinity uniform, making it a good one with a game-high 22 points. Jack Marksberry added 13, and Tyler Goecker had 12.