(TRINIDAD, Colo.) – In the first basketball playoff game played at TSJC's Scott Gym in almost forty years the Lady Trojans prevailed over McCook Community College to punch their ticket to the elite eight of Region IX this coming weekend. It was the first playoff victory in the history of the Trinidad State women's basketball program.
The large playoff crowd was entertained from the opening tip thanks to a Lady Trojan 3-pointer on the opening possession by Tammarrah Gothard. Kaila Gabriel had a great first quarter boosting Trinidad to a 20-12 lead at the first break. The scoring cooled prior to the half and McCook cut into the lead slightly sending the teams into the locker rooms 29-22. The Indians cut the lead down to three early in the second half but that would be as close as they would get. A series of jumpers from sophomore Alaynna Latimore would extend it back out of reach. The Trojans turned up the pressure in the final stanza outscoring McCook 19-10 to push the final score to 64-48 in TSJC's favor. Latimore and Gabriel each finished the game with 12 points apiece to lead Trinidad. The Trojan post players Annette Warner (11 points, 8 rebounds), Brittnee Coberly (5 points, 4 rebounds), Hannah Faulks (6 points, 9 rebounds) and Clarissa Chavez (4 points, 3 rebounds) all had solid performances in the paint. Gabriel led a great defensive effort with seven steals and Shahennessey Bradford dished off four assists.
"It was a great crowd and it increased the pressure on our team a little," commented Coach Rich Holden. "but I believe that ended up being a good thing. I was extremely proud of the way our girls responded to a McCook team who really brought the intensity."
The Trojans (15-15) will now move into the quarterfinals in Scottsbluff, Nebraska where they will take on Miles Community College (17-14) on Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. The semifinals are Friday afternoon with the finals to follow on Saturday.