BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – If Head Coach Tony Johnson had a little more time, in lieu of a better played second quarter, his Lady Crusaders may have notched a win.
As it was, the Holy Trinity Catholic girls varsity basketball team dropped a Southeast Iowa Superconference tussle with Central Lee Tuesday night 64-53.
“They worked hard.. we had a six-minute stretch where we didn’t play very well. I think it’s a youth thing and we just had let down in focus,” Johnson said.
Johnson was referring to a stretch in the second period where HTC only put up four points from the 5:48 mark to the end of the first half. The Lady Crusaders had several miscues where passes missed intended players and bounded into the stands. The miscues continued into the third period and HTC was again held in check with only four points scored until the 4 minute mark when things began to change.
Senior Ali Randolph, who had eight first half points, picked up her intensity at the end of the 3rd period when she converted a bucket, picked off the ensuing inbound pass on Central Lee’s next possession and put that back in for a bucket and was fouled, but missed the free-throw. Junior Samantha Hoenig then converted a 3-pointer on the Hounds next possession at the 1:25 mark to end the scoring for the third quarter with the Lady Crusaders trailing 54-33.
“We were down 51-22 at one point. We played about 26 minutes instead of 32. We’ll be alright,” Johnson said.
The fourth quarter was all HTC but the lead was too steep to overcome. Sophomore Taylor Boeding nailed two of her patented high-arch 3s in the period and Brett Schneider added another to lead the charge as HTC was able to outscore Central Lee 20-10 in the final period closing the gap to 11 before the buzzer.
Randolph finished the game with team and season-high 20 points.
” I think I was just going up to make the baskets and not going up weak. I went up strong and focused on getting it in and not missing,” Randolph said.
“So far we’re doing well. We still have a long way to come. We’re pretty far behind everyone else because of volleyball season going later. We just have to keep working hard and we’re improving.”
Johnson said Randolph created opportunities for herself and that opened up her game.
“She worked really hard inside. She did a good job of putting it back up.” he said.
Central Lee had three players in double figures led by MacKenzie Northup with 20, Kenzie Krehbiel with 16 and Anna Krehbiel with 10. Cady Stuecker added 9.
HTC falls to 3-4 on the season and travels to Danville on Friday with junior varsity action starting at 4:30.