By Stefanie Kilnapp
Lutheran West battled their way through a back and forth sectional finals game against Trinity High School, staying one step ahead of the Trojans, and won 45-37 Saturday afternoon at St. Joseph High School.
Although the Longhorns managed to stay in the lead down the stretch in the fourth quarter, the win was not handed to them.
The Longhorns repeated a few of the mistakes that were made during the 39-27 first round victory over Brooklyn.
“I was very happy with some of the things we did, but execution down the stretch hurt us and we played a bad third quarter. The same thing happened tonight,” Lutheran West head coach Josh Campbell admitted. “We had two quarters that were sub par.”
The Longhorns clutched an early advantage but toggled with it during the second and especially third quarter. At the conclusion of the third quarter, Lutheran West was only down by three points, 28-25.
“(I was) definitely worried,” Longhorns center Carey Smith said. “I would say, but we have it in us to come back from that. We’ve done it a lot.”
Fast breaks led to scoring opportunities for the Longhorns and free throws tacked on more points to confirm Lutheran West’s spot in the next round.
“It’s really good to win,” Carey said. “I don’t get too excited about wins anyways, but it is exciting.”
Both Amanda Stephens and Lindsay Thomas led the Longhorns in scoring with 12 points each, followed by Lindsey Tomola, who dropped in 10.
Lutheran West will be going up against Gilmour Academy tomorrow at 7:45 p.m., and the Longhorns are all too familiar with this team.
“Gilmour is a very good team. We played them earlier in the year, and they handed us our breakfast,” Campbell said. “We know what we have to do, if we execute and take care of the basketball we’ll be there at the end.”
“It’s going to be tough,” Smith stated.
“I’m going to enjoy this for the next ten minutes before I go watch Gilmour play,” Campbell elaborated. “We have our work cut out for us.”
“We know that it’s win, or go home.”