By J.W. Campbell, Sportswriter
In a game that won’t win any awards for artistry, the Triad Lady Knights did what they had to do, survive and advance, as the locals started postseason action with a 42-30 win over Mascoutah at the Breese Mater Dei Class 2A regional on Monday, February 11.
“Ugly wins are better than pretty losses,” Triad Coach Stephanie Potthast said. “It wasn’t a pretty game, but at this point, what you want to do is survive and advance.”
With the win, Triad moves on to a regional semifinal against Highland on Wednesday, February 13. Results of that game were not available at press time.
Against Mascoutah, Triad led from start to finish, despite committing seven turnovers in the first quarter. Fortunately for the Lady Knights, Mascoutah equaled their turnover output in the first frame.
Ali Barisch put Triad to stay with a basket two minutes into the game. A free throw by Timia Williams 20 seconds later cut the Triad lead to 2-1, but Mascoutah would never catch the Lady Knights.
Triad rattled off the next six points to take an 8-1 edge at the end of the first quarter.
Three minutes into the second period, Triad led 8-5 before going on a 6-0 run that opened up a 14-5 margin. During their surge, the Lady Knights got a basket each from Alyssa Powell, Krista Cochran and Avery Bohnenstiehl.
At the intermission, the Knights held a 19-11 cushion.
The third quarter was dominated by Triad, who outscored Mascoutah 19-4 to build up a 28-15 lead.
Triad’s largest lead of the night came with 6:31 remaining in the game when Barisch sank a basket that made it a 30-15 lead.
Mascoutah made its biggest run of the game over a two minute stretch in the fourth quarter when they went on a 12-2 run to slice the Triad lead to 32-27. During their rally, Mascoutah got five points from Maya Singletary, three from Alanna Brooks, two from Katherine Hibbing and two from Tia Keene.
Triad reestablished control of the game with their next two possessions, which resulted in a driving layup by Barisch and a triple by Jordan Wilson which pushed the Triad lead back up to 10 points with 2:27 showing on the clock.
“I got a little nervous when they went on that run in the fourth quarter, but we came back and had two good possessions that made it a 10-point game again. At that point, we were confident of what we were doing.”
Triad turned the ball over 17 times in the game, while Mascoutah committed 21 turnovers in the contest.
In addition, the Lady Knights missed a number of shots from inside the paint.
“The rims weren’t all that forgiving tonight,” Potthast said. “This is a difficult place to play. Mater Dei has a definite home court advantage, as does any team that hosts a regional. But now we’ve got one game in here and we know what it’s like. Hopefully, we’ll come back and use that to our advantage.”
Potthast also noted that several of her players were battling an illness that has been running through the team this week.
“Not everyone is feeling 100 percent,” she said. “Kudos to them for powering through tonight and stepping up when they needed to.”
Barisch was Triad’s leading scorer with 13 points, while Cochran had seven tallies. Powell and Bohnenstiehl each finished with six markers. Rounding out the Triad scoring was Wilson and Caleigh Miller, who each had five points.
Brooks was the game-high scorer with 14 points for the Indians.
With the win, Triad improves to 14-14 on the season.
Triad 41, Waterloo 34
On Thursday, February 7, the Lady Knights completed the regular season with a 41-34 home win over the Waterloo Bulldogs on senior night.
Prior to the game, Triad’s eight senior players, along with two senior student managers were honored. The players were Caleigh Miller, Riley Fandrey, Katie Jones, Heather Rood, Jordan Wilson, Ali Barisch, Krista Cochran and Molly Suess. The student managers were Kaitie Wade and Paige Kayser.
The evening included one final appearance on the court by Rood, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on January 22. Although in a knee brace, Rood dressed out for senior night and took the floor for the opening tip-off. After Waterloo won the tip, time out was called by Triad Coach Stephanie Potthast so Wilson could be substituted for Rood.
Triad, who defeated the Bulldogs 40-19 in Waterloo a month earlier, struggle in the first quarter and trailed 10-7 at the first break.
Waterloo led 7-5 with two minutes left in the first period. A basket by Barisch knotted the score at 7-7 before a triple by Aubrey Hubbard gave Waterloo its three-point lead at the end of the frame.
A 6-0 run to start the second period gave the Lady Knights their first lead of the game. The surge included two baskets by Cochran and another by Barisch to give Triad a 13-10 edge.
Midway through the quarter, Triad held a 17-16 advantage. A triple by Hubbard put Waterloo up 19-17 before Wilson drained a trey of her own to give the Lady Knights a 20-19 lead at halftime. It was a lead Triad would never relinquish.
With six and a half minutes left in the third quarter, Triad maintained a one-point edge at 25-24. Triad, however, outscored Waterloo 8-4 to end the quarter and take a 33-28 edge into the final quarter of action.
An 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter gave Triad its biggest lead of the night at 41-28. The rally included a triple by Barisch, a conventional basket by Alyssa Powell and Fandrey and a free throw by Miller.
Waterloo would score the final six points of the game to close the gap to seven points, but it was too little too late.
Barisch had a team-high 12 points for the Lady Knights. Adding eight points for Triad was Cochran. Wilson finished with seven points.
Hubbard had a game-high 14 points for the Bulldogs. Waterloo’s Haley Aldridge and Ella Bockhorn each had 10 tallies in the contest.