BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Holy Trinity girls rolled to an easy win over Cardinal of Eldon 62-20 Friday night in their first home game of the season.
Senior Brett Schneider poured in 16 points to lead HTC, who never trailed in the game and raced to a 19-3 first quarter lead capitalizing on 12 Comet turnovers in the period.
Senior Madison Mohfeld got the party started with the first four points for an HTC squad that has been hampered by a flu bug that’s running rampant among the girls. Senior Mya Lawlor had to sit out the game and head coach Tony Johnson said he practiced with four varsity girls and a junior varsity girl on Thursday night.
“It hit us pretty bad this week. I don’t think anyone’s really feeling the best,” Johnson said.
Schneider put in six of her points in the first period including converting a bucket and a foul shot with 1;35 left in the quarter. Sophomore Avery Hopper added a bucket in the next transition to end the period. A 3-pointer by the Comets’ Maddie Cloke was the only score the Cardinals had in the quarter.
The game got slightly more balanced in the second quarter but not before Schneider hit back-to-back 3 pointers at the 6:33 mark to put HTC ahead 25-3 on the way to a 33-12 lead.
Johnson had Cardinal caught in a rare three-quarter zone press for the entire first half forcing the Comets into 21 turnovers and trapped the visitors out of their regular half-court game resulting in an occasional bucket when they did get through the press.
“It was just one of the adjustments we were able to make. We had been committing a lot of fouls and the girls weren’t feeling well so I thought the zone press would reduce the pace of the game and be easier on the girls and it worked out ok,” Johnson said.
HTC had pushed the lead to 52-17 at the end of the third highlighted by five points each from Taylor Boeding and Samantha Hoenig. Hoenig and Ashlynn Haas both nailed 3-pointers in the final quarter as Holy Trinity kept pulling away to the end.
“For the most part I thought they played pretty well for most not practicing last night and some not going into school until 9 a.m,” Johnson said.
He was also happy with the better outside shooting.
“It was good to be able to shoot at home. I think that helped quite a bit,” he said.
Junior Emily Box and Hoenig both finished with 10 points on the night. Haas and Boeding each chipped in with eight points and Hopper finished with four points inside for HTC.
The Crusaders take on Central Lee in a key Southeast Iowa Superconference matchup on Tuesday night on the road. Both junior varsity boys and girls and varsity boys and girls will play with games starting at 4:30 p.m.