BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
BURLINGTON – Nike senior Johanna Myers scored from just about every place on the floor and the Holy Trinity girls squad really had no answer as the Crusaders’ season came to an end on Tuesday night at Father Minnett Gymnasium in Burlington.
The 12th ranked Nikes dropped HTC 63-41 and move on in Class 1A district action, while the Lady Crusaders turn an eye to next year.
The only time the game was really close was just out of the gate at 2-2. Junior Brett Schneider and senior Ali Randolph each had four points in the opening period but the Nikes’ Myers put up 15 in the first half including pulling up for a 3-pointer that was almost closer to the half-court line than the 3-point arc.
Notre Dame had a 19-10 lead after the first period, HTC was able to cut the lead to seven with just one minute gone in the second period but then Notre Dame went on a 6-0 run that saw HTC miss many shots including a 1-for-9 through seven minutes of play.
In the third period the Crusaders made a short-lived run at the Nikes to cut the lead to 10 with two-minutes left in the period including a 6-0 run on steals with layups in transition, but the rally stalled with about four minutes left in the period. The Nikes then returned the favor and went on a 7-0 run to push their lead to 45-27 going into the fourth quarter and outscored HTC 18-14 in the final period. Three of HTC’s points came on a 3-pointer by Taylor Boeding with just about 15 seconds left in the game.
Head Coach Tony Johnson chose to put his girls in the half-court man defense to try and contain Myers and didn’t utilize a full or half-court press at any point in the game.
“Sometimes when we get to pressing we get in foul trouble,” Johnson said. “We thought about it. It’s just a feel with me and when they get over-hyped they tend to get into foul trouble so we just didn’t do it.”
When the short run in the third period cut the lead to 10, Johnson said he did ramp up the pressure on the guards over the time line.
“We just had to be cautious because if we did too much up front pressure the Myers girl could drive and score.”
Myers, who is second in the state in scoring for all classes put up 26 in the win Tuesday.
No Crusader reached double figures. Boeding led the Crusaders with nine points followed by Brett Schneider and Emily Box with seven, Mya Lawlor had six, Ali Randolph and Madison Mohrfeld each had four points. Ashlyn Haas had three points and Avery Hopper had a bucket.
HTC finished the season at just one game under .500 at 11-12 and will be returning all but two seniors.
‘It had its up and downs,” Johnson said of the season as a whole. “It was a roller coaster and we had some games we should have won. We had some young kids that made some mistakes in those games at the end, but they are young and that’s to be expected.”
The good news is that most of the Crusaders from this year’s team will be back with the exception of Randolph and Maggie Walker who missed the last quarter of the season with an injury.
“We got everybody back,” Johnson said. “We’re gonna lose two but will get Eryn (Anderson) back and everyone else will be back. We’re gonna get older and we’re gonna get stronger. The future is bright for us and I’m excited about that.”
Johnson regularly played two freshmen in Ashlyn Haas and Avery Hopper. Hopper did sit for a couple games with an injury. Lawlor, Boeding and Box, a nucleus of this year’s squad are just sophomores and Schneider, Hoenig and Madison Mohrfeld will all be seniors next year.
Randolph said her team showed improvement and began to gel as the season went along.
“I thought we improved so much from the beginning of the season. We continually enjoyed each other. We had a rocky start but as the season progressed we worked really hard,” she said. “They’re willing to work extremely hard, and this summer they’re definitely going to put in the work so it’s doesn’t end here like it did for me.”
Her advice to her younger teammates…”Just work hard and have fun because that’s what it’s all about,” Randolph said.