BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
DANVILLE – Holy Trinity Catholic started its annual Homecoming Week on a soft note as both boys and girls varsity basketball teams dropped games to Danville on Monday.
The Lady Crusaders trailed Danville by as much as seven for most of the first three periods, but cut the lead to two with five minutes left in the third period, before storming back in the fourth quarter and held a two-point lead with three minutes remaining in the game, 47-45, but got stuck at 47 until the last minute. Danville then went on an 8-2 run in the final three minutes to ice the win.
“We missed too many free throws and turned the ball over too much,” said Head Coach Tony Johnson after the game. “The girls played hard and made a good comeback, but we just beat ourselves at the end of the game.”
Emily Box led HTC with 20 points, 10 in each half. Ali Randolph had 11 points and Brett Schneider added 8. Ashlyn Haas and Taylor Boeding each added five points to round out the scoring for Holy Trinity.
HTC is now 6-8 on the season and has alternated wins and losses over the last 7 games, so Tuesday’s game at West Burlington should be a win.
In the boys contest, Cory H0pper led the Crusaders with 11 points as Danville was able to focus on Hopper, while fellow senior Connor Conrad, who was averaging about 18 points per game before going down with a knee injury last week, sat on the bench again Monday. He’s missed three games in a row.
HTC didn’t get on the board until about three minutes left in the first quarter, a far cry from the 19-0 first quarter they put on WACO Friday. But the Crusaders came rushing back with 5 points in the final 90 seconds of the quarter and closed to within 2, 8-10 at the end of the first period. The Bears then took over and outscored HTC 22-10 in the second period and held a 36-20 lead at the half.
The Crusaders closed the gap to 11 at the end of the third period, but then the Bears hit a run again outscoring HTC 9-2 in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter and led 59-31 with seven minutes left in the game and held that gap for most of the rest of the game.
Rounding out the scoring for HTC was Bailey Merschman with 8, Milo Orton and Jack Stinson each added 5, Matt Hellige and Connor Hellweg each added 4 points. Alex Bentler had 3 points, Brant Holtkamp added 2, and Nick Pothitakis contributed a free throw.
HTC boys are now 6-6 on the season and travel to West Burlington on Tuesday for a girls/boys varsity doubleheader.
In the junior varsity game, the Crusaders rolled to a 50-43 win led by Matt Hellige with 14 points. Brant Holtkamp had 10 points as the other player in double figures for HTC.
Rounding out the scoring were Reed Fehseke with 9, Adam Rauenbueler with 6, Quentin Schneider with 5, Kyle Bredemeyer had 4 points and Blake Crabtree with 2.