BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Most head coaches will utilize a box-and-one defense to help stop a prolific scorer. The box plays zone and the one chases the scorer all over the place.
But Holy Trinity girls Head Coach Tony Johnson benefitted in Friday’s lopsided 72-18 win over Cardinal of Eldon from a different type of Box and 1.
The Box, being sophomore Emily Box, and the “1” being senior Ali Randolph. The two combined for 33 of HTC’s points, 26 in the first half when the Lady Crusaders had the Southeast Iowa Superconference game well in hand.
Randolph is the team’s leading scorer averaging about 15 points a game and even connected on a rare 3-pointer in Friday’s game. She finished with 19 points, 16 in the first half. The senior gets most of her points off turnovers in transition and is pesky in the full-court press.
Box, who struggled at the beginning of the season getting her bearings in the lane is quickly becoming one of the conference’s top post players and is averaging double figures over the past four games. She finished with 14 on the night, 10 in the first half.
“The last four or five she’s had double figures and improved rebounding. We really worked hard with her over Christmas and that’s helping,” Johnson said.
HTC almost held Cardinal scoreless in the first quarter until Jamie White connected on a couple free throws with 20 seconds left in the quarter with HTC up 22-2. The second quarter was much of the same as Cardinal only managed eight points in the 2nd quarter while the Lady Crusaders pushed their lead to 48-10, by far the highest first half production of the season.
The second half was a much more balanced scoring attack as Johnson emptied the bench often as everyone on the team scored in the game.
But Johnson said despite the lopsided win, the girls still have things to work on.
“We only made 9 of 26 free throws and we have to do better than that,” Johnson said.
“We did foul too much, but part of that was a new press we put in and the girls we’re just too aggressive with it.”
Rounding out the scoring for HTC was Ashlyn Haas with 8, Avery Hopper with 7, Taylor Boeding with 6 (yep….two 3-pointers), Samantha Hoenig and Madison Mohrfeld each had 4, Brett Schneider had 3 and Mya Lawlor and Maggie Walker each had two.
HTC improve to .500 on the season at 8-8 and travels to Central Lee, who stands atop the loop at 12-2, on Tuesday. The Lady Hawks sophomore MacKenzie Northup is second in the conference in scoring at just under 18 points per game.
“We gotta to keep the Northrup girl out of the lane. Last time we were close,” Johnson said. “We were down close to 30 and we got it back to nine. So we know what we’re doing we just gotta play it smart.”