BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – For the second time in less than five days, the Danville Bears have sneaked past a Fort Madison basketball team.
On Tuesday, the Bears won in the last minute over the Fort Madison Bloodhounds at home, and Friday night the Bears escaped with a 60-57 win over Holy Trinity in Southeast Iowa Superconference action.
The Crusaders were down by 1 point in the final minute and committed a foul that the Bears converted to push the lead to three with just seconds remaining. The Crusaders had two chances at tying the game at the end, but couldn’t convert.
“We had a couple looks at some open threes near at the buzzer, but we just couldn’t get them to go down,” Head Coach John Hellige said.
“We’ve been battling some illness all week and really just played with a six-player rotation and our legs were gone the last four minutes.”
Sophomores Reed Fehseke and Matt Hellige led the Crusaders with 16 and 15 points respectively, and the Crusaders had four players in double figures with Quentin Schneider and Brant Holtkamp each putting in 10 on the night. Adam Rauenbuehler and Blake Crabtree each added three points for HTC.
HTC trailed at the end of the first period 18, but came back to outscore the Bears 20-14 in the second period for a four-point lead, 38-34 going into the locker room.
A 11-4 run to close out the third period had the Bears back up by four going into the final period. The Bears held a 7-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game, but the Crusaders came rushing back with a couple of 3-pointers by Fehseke to close the gap to one point in the final minute.
“The boys played well. They executed the game plan perfectly,” Hellige said. “They continue to grow and I couldn’t be prouder of them. They played very hard.”
Max Wilcox led the Bears with 15 points, the only player in double figures for the Danville. But the visitors had nine different players score in the game.
The Crusaders host Wapello on Tuesday before heading into the winter break.