KOUTS | Trina Coleman hit a baseline jumper as time expired to give visiting Morgan Twp. a thrilling, 45-43 win over Kouts on Saturday.
Coleman, who had a game-high 23 points, scored 10 in the fourth quarter and proved to be the difference in the Porter County Conference rivalry game that was originally scheduled for December.
"She's a great player, and great players make great plays when it counts," said Morgan Twp. coach Kevin Krieger. "Each team did a great job competing and fortunately we were one-possession better today. These girls are winners and it showed."
Both teams saved the spark for the fourth quarter, as Coleman followed a trey to start the stanza with a steal and layup. Jayla Crump (11 points) quickly responded for Kouts with a three of her own to jump start a sea-saw final quarter.
"This was quite a game," Krieger said. "Both teams made several big shots in the fourth. It was a nice rivalry game."
After a turnover-plagued first quarter that saw Kouts take a 13-9 lead, neither team was able to sink a field goal in the first six minutes of the second. Despite not connecting on a field goal and being held to six free throws in the second, the Fillies still held a 19-16 lead at the half.
Kouts was effective from the line throughout the game, hitting 18 of 21 shots from the charity stripe, but a key miss in the fourth allowed the Cherokees to keep it a one-possession game and a late Kouts turnover set up the game-winner by Coleman.
"She really stayed under control late," Krieger said of Coleman. "But Kia Holder had a nice defensive effort late and Brianna (Leuck) hit a couple big shots that picked us up. It was a great team win."
Leuck added 10 points for Morgan despite missing her first six shots from beyond the arc.
Megan Heinold led Kouts with 13 points. Emma Leatherman (6-7 FT) added eight for the Fillies.
"(Kouts) Coach (Ron) Kobza did a great job getting his girls ready to play," Krieger said. This is what all high school athletic contests should be like."
With the win, the Cherokees improve to 10-3 overall and 5-0 in the PCC.