Inman holds off Trinity despite 22 from Hughes
INMAN — Anytime Inman High School and Hutchinson-Trinity Catholic High School get together, regardless of the sport, competitiveness ensues.
Such was the case Tuesday night in Inman as the Teutons gutted out a 49-44 win over Trinity in a game that was close from start to finish.
Inman head coach Bill Maurer said outside of McPherson-County rival Moundridge, the game against Trinity has developed into the biggest rivalry game of the year for the Teutons.
“I knew our girls would play really hard tonight and come out and compete,” Maurer said. “I’m really proud of the effort they gave.”
Trinity drops its third straight game and falls to 2-5 on the season. The Celitcs have played a difficult schedule against the likes of Haven, Hillsboro, Berean Academy and others.
Although the record is not where he wants it to be, Trinity head coach Ricky Snyder believes his team is getting better.
“We’re not going to shy away from our schedule,” Snyder said. “We’re going to go out and play tougher teams and see where we’re at and where we need to improve. We want to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”
After Trinity’s Hayley Hughes opened the scoring with a jumper, Inman scored the next seven points via a 3-pointer from Hannah Martisko, a long two from Maci Neufeld, and a pair of free throws from Raegan Neufeld.
Trinity scored the final eight points of the first quarter - all in the final 92 seconds - with back to back 3s from Hughes and Mackenziey Alvarez, and a buzzer-beating jumper from Hughes to give the Celtics a 10-7 lead.
Trinity extended its lead to 14-9, but the Teutons responded, and a 3 from Maci Neufeld tied the game at 14. The Celitcs ended the first half on a 5-0 run and led 19-14 at halftime.
Hughes converted on a 3-point play early in the third to give Trinity a 23-15 lead, but the Teutons began to chip away from there.
Martisko knocked down two 3s in the third to help the Teutons to within one. Inman took back the lead with a Lauren Aden 3-pointer.
The Teutons led by as many as seven in the third, but Natalie Ortiz knocked down a much-needed 3-pointer for Trinity with four seconds left to cut the Inman lead to 34-30 entering the fourth.
An Ortiz 3 early in the fourth put the Celtics back on top, and from there the lead went back and forth.
Raegan Neufeld, who led Inman in scoring, scored 10 of her 16 points from the free-throw line. The senior knocked down two free throws with 15 seconds remaining to extend the lead to two possessions.
Kadence Welch drew a charge a few seconds later to seal the win for Inman.
“I thought we played really unselfishly tonight,” Maurer said.
Raegan Neufeld’s 16 led the Teutons. Martisko added 11, and Maci Neufeld chipped in 10.
“Hannah is a good shooter; we’re trying to convince her to be more aggressive because she’s a pass-first player,” Maurer said. “Raegan has worked so hard for the past four years. Her skills around the basket are very good, and when she gets fouled she can make free throws.”
Hughes led all scorers with 22 points. Ortiz was the only other Celtic in double figures.
“We’re always looking for balance,” Snyder said. “Teams will try and take away certain things from us. Developing balance is something we’ll continue to work on, and I think it will pay off in the long run.”
Inman improves to 4-4 and heads to Sedgwick on Friday. Trinity drops to 2-5 and hosts Moundridge on Friday.