BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Sophomore Reed Fehseke wears the same jersey as 2016 senior standout Cory Hopper and he’s starting to shoot like the former Southeast Iowa Superconference co-mvp.
Fehseke poured in 23, including 18 in the first half and the first 10 points of the game as the Crusaders blasted Cardinal of Eldon 56-35 in SEISC boys action Friday night.
“Cory likes to give me a lot of crap about not being able to score like he did. I think I’ll go and tweet him about tonight,” Fehseke said.
Fehseke started converting his first bucket of the game and then scored about ;30 seconds later in transition and then fired in back-to-back 3-pointers and the crowd started to murmur just a bit. Cardinal’s Grant Clark put in a bucket with about four minutes left in the first quarter for the Comets first score with HTC leading 10-2.
Blake Crabtree hit a bucket and then converted the front end of a one-and-one for three straight to give Holy Trinity a 14-6 lead.
Fehseke started the second quarter with another bucket to push the lead to a 20-13 advantage. HTC’s Jake Eaves got into the scoring in the second quarter. The 6’4″ freshman likes to step out beyond the arc and hit pull up jumpers. His first doubled up the Comets 30-15 and then Fehseke scored six straight, Cardinal’s Wyatt Gatton hit a free throw and then Eaves fired in another three pointer as Holy Trinity ripped off a 14-2 run to end the half.
Fehseke hit another three pointer to open the scoring for HTC and Quentin Schneider converted an inside basket before Cardinal could put up a basket in the second half. Cardinal’s Dawson Hamm, who led Cardinal with 18 points, heated up and scored five straight sandwiched between a couple Matt Hellige free throws.
Head Coach John Hellige said Fehseke’s game was one of the best he’d seen.
“I told him in the lockerroom he had one of the best games I’d seen here. He really knows angles and how to play the game from an overall court awareness and that opens up opportunities for the other guys.” he said.
Gatton hit another bucket with about six minutes in the game to get the lead under 20, but Cardinal wasn’t prepared to cut in any further playing with only seven players on the bench. Eaves rained down another three to put the Crusaders up by 20 at 54-34.
Hellige and Eaves both scored a dozen behind Fehseke. Schneider finished with four points, Crabtree finished with three points, and Brant Holtkamp scored two points to round out the scoring for the Crusaders.
Holy Trinity was playing without Collin Thornton who broke his arm in a fall at West Burlington earlier this week. Hellige said he’s hoping to get Thornton back in four weeks.
“Anytime you lose your sole senior it’s tough, but it’s a good time to get everyone to step up. I told them we didn’t have a big inside presence, but if everyone got five defensive rebounds we’d be ok,” Hellige said. “Overall it’s the maturity of this team. We’re heading in the right direction. We didn’t take Cardinal lightly, they’re rebounding in their program and we’re young so we don’t take anything for granted.”
Hellige said he was impressed with Eaves’ play on the perimeter and said he’s a sparkling shooter.
“Jake’s a shooter. If you come to our practices and watch, he’s absolutely money. We’d like to get some weight on him and do some kind of inside/out game with him but for right now that’s where he’s comfortable so that’s where we’re going to leave him.”
The Crusaders take their 2-3 record on the road Tuesday to Central Lee in a junior varsity/varsity boys and girls stint starting at 4:30 p.m.