UPLAND — A fleet-footed Trinity girls basketball team came to compete against Western Christian that boasted size in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5A tournament on Wednesday.
After multiple comeback attempts, however, the Knights ultimately came up short, falling 62-59 to the Lancers at Western Christian.
“This is a really good team that a lot of people would say we had no chance against,” said Trinity coach Daniel Hebert. “So we end the game losing by two and down in the first half and come back in front of their home crowd, it was just a huge all-around game.”
The Knights (14-8 overall) got off to a hot start, building a 17-14 lead by the end of the first quarter on some accurate shooting from Trinity Towns and Katie Brown. Towns began the frame with a jumper, Brown filled in with some layups and Hannah Caddow finished off the quarter by driving to the paint for a layup.
Starting the second quarter in a similar way, Caddow scored on a layup and earned an and-one opportunity. But that was all the scoring the Knights managed until the final minutes of the quarter.
The Lancers (18-7) put together a scoring run fueled by Hope Weber, who scored eight points to help Western Christian to a 30-19 lead. With a layup and free throw from Weber, the team was able to head to halftime with a 34-31 lead.
“We honestly didn’t talk about offense at all at halftime, which is unusual for me,” Hebert said. “I’m really into offensive stuff, but we’ve just been such a strong defensive team all year that, no matter what, we always want to iron things out on defense and we were bummed out that we gave up that many points to them.”
The Knights were able to fight back in the third quarter by capitalizing on free throw opportunities. In the final minute, Towns made a layup and Caddow had a layup and jumper to cut the deficit to 48-46 by the end of the frame.
Western Christian’s Mayanie Kakish made back-to-back layups to keep her team in the lead by one point.
With 4:23 left in the game, Caddow drained a 3-pointer that gave Trinity a 54-52 lead. The Lancer’s Taylor Bustillos sank two free throws to tie the game at 54-all, then Caddow made a free throw of her own to make it 55-54.
Kakish hit a free throw then a layup to get her team the advantage again, this time at 57-55. Trinity was able to score once more from the charity stripe.
“We are excited about next year,” Hebert said. “The foundation that our seniors built, primarily. It’s what we’re most excited about from both the success this year and the future.”