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Jan. 12—An unexpected hero pushed Sacred Heart to victory in its district opener.
Trinity Hess hit the game-winner in her first game of the season for the Sacred Heart girls' basketball team Tuesday night in the Tigerettes' 47-43 win against Sherman Texoma Christian in Muenster.
Sacred Heart (8-18 overall, 1-0 District 2A-2) won its district opener thanks in part to the junior's late 3-pointer.
Texoma Christian (4-11, 0-1) failed to put the game out of reach despite numerous chances, and Hess made the Lady Eagles pay.
The Tigerettes erupted in joy when the final buzzer sounded. Sacred Heart coach Amanda Aldriedge said this win meant everything to her team.
"We've had a tough year," Aldriedge said. "Last year was a little tough. We had a close game against Texoma last year in district. They wanted this one, and they got it."
Hess suffered an injury during volleyball season and hadn't played since. Finally healthy, Hess made her basketball season debut Tuesday night. She scored her first points in the third quarter with a 3-pointer which gave Sacred Heart a 36-34 lead.
Hess said it felt great to be back on the court.
"I was really nervous and scared at first," Hess said. "But once I got back in it and kind of got more comfortable, it was amazing."
Sacred Heart trailed 42-40 after the third quarter and scored 2 points in the first six minutes of the fourth. Texoma made six trips to the free throw line during that span. With the Tigerettes unable to score, the Lady Eagles had a multitude of chances to extend their lead.
Instead, Texoma shot 1-of-11 from the line in the fourth. The Lady Eagles gave Sacred Heart a chance, and Hess took it with one shot.
Hess said only one thing was on her mind.
"I gotta make it," Hess said. "I just imagined it going in. I had to show off for my dad that I could do it, coming back in from not playing all this season."
Early in the game, it didn't look like Sacred Heart would get an opportunity to make a game-winning shot. The Lady Eagles started strong, leading 13-2 at one point in the first quarter. The Tigerettes started to warm up as the quarter progressed, and sophomore Isabella Walterscheid gave her team the momentum by beating the first quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer.
Aldriedge said the Tigerettes took a little while to get adjusted to the game.
"I think at first they were just a little overwhelmed," Aldriedge said. "They figured out Texoma's pace and didn't get too worked up over it anymore and just did what they needed to do."
Sacred Heart dominated the second, outscoring Texoma 18-9. The Tigerettes finished the half on a 7-0 run, giving them a 29-26 lead. Texoma retook the lead to start the second half, and the teams traded the lead on six-straight shots, the last of which was Hess's first.
Walterscheid led the Tigerettes with 16 points, followed by senior Emily Flusche with 13.
Aldriedge said starting district play with a win is huge for Sacred Heart.
"It's awesome," Aldriedge said. "They're excited. I'm excited. It's the momentum we needed."