By CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Sometimes you win with an inside game and sometimes you win with an outside game.
Fans at Holy Trinity High School got a taste of both as the Fort Madison Bloodhounds eeked out a 53-50 win over the Holy Trinity Crusaders Friday night.
Thirty-two of the Bloodhounds points came from in the paint with the physical play of Mercedes and Mariah Trimble and Brittiney Harris.
“We’re gonna be more physical because were taller and that’s where our strength is and our kids work hard in the weight room,” said Interim Head Coach Kent Bailey.
“What we need to work on, what we’ve go to get better at, is our guard play. the kids are working hard but they need to get more confidence.”
Holy Trinity Head Coach Tony Johnson said his girls just need to be more physical.
“We just gotta go up strong. That’s what we need to do.”
The two teams traded buckets most of the way through the first quarter with the Hounds holding a one-point advantage at the end of the first period. The Bloodhounds pulled out to a 16-19 lead midway through the 2nd quarter before Crusader sophomore Mya Lawlor netted a 3-pointer to tie the game at 19, but Fort Madison reeled off six straight to go into the lockerroom with a 25-19 halftime edge.
Johnson said he went to the chalkboard in the lockerroom to try and ratchet up the pressure on the Bloodhounds guard court and pull the Crusaders back into the contest.
The move worked as the Holy Trinity outscored the Hounds 31 to 28 in the second half, but came up just three short of the win.
“We worked that press up at halftime,” Johnson said. “We just put in at halftime, that was the first time they’d run it.”
The Crusaders were able to capitalize on turnovers off the pressure and get the ball out to sophomore Taylor Boeding who finished leading all scorers with 19 points including five 3-pointers and going 2 for 2 from the free throw line.
Johnson said the free throw line was the real difference in the game.
“We went 10-23 from the free throw line, Whether or not you miss the easy shots you just can’t do that…that’s the whole difference.”
“But we’re young we’ll be all right. That’s a 4A school out there, we shouldn’t even be in the same gym. We’ll be all right.”
Bailey agreed the press hurt the Bloodhounds in the second half.
“It’s the old adage, ‘Be fast but don’t hurry’, he said. “We got in a hurry at times and we got ourselves in trouble.”
On defending Boeding, Bailey said the plan was to find her more often.
“We knew the Boeding girl is a good shooter and we tried to find her but I think she still had something like 5 3s. So we did not do a good job of identifying her at times,” Bailey said. “We want to get better and we want our kids to get better each game and its a learning process. Freshman and two juniors in our guard court so it’s a learning process right now.”
For the Crusaders, after Boeding’s 19, was Junior Brett Schneider with 10 points, Freshman Avery Hopper, Senior Ally Randolph and sophomore Emily Box all had six points to go with Lawlor’s 3 to round out the HTC scoring.
The Bloodhounds were paced by seniors Mercedes Trimble and Brittiney Harris who each had a 11 points in the lane, followed by Senior Mariah Trimble with 10. Senior Emily Mitchell and junior Amber Dilsaver each had 8 points, with Dilsaver on a shortened night arriving in the 2nd quarter after participating in an Iowa City volleyball camp. Junior Katy Larson finished with three for Fort Madison and Taylor Shannan added a bucket to round out the scoring for the Bloodhounds.
Bailey said he was proud of the interior effort of his upper classmen.
“Our post players played well, Mitchell, Brittany, the Trimbles and Amber when she got here,“
Holy Trinity (1-3) will play host again on Tuesday as West Burlington comes to town for a boys and girls varsity double header beginning at 6 p.m.
Fort Madison (1-2) plays host to Van Buren on Friday with a junior varsity/varsity set beginning at 6 p.m. as well.