BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Holy Trinity got another strong performance from junior Taylor Boeding as they rolled over Burlington Notre Dame 49-16 in the first round of Iowa High School girls regional action Thursday night.
Boeding, who is coming off a 22-point performance Friday against Highland, was a catalyst for the Crusaders with 16 points including five 3-pointers. Junior Emily Box scored a dozen, but was dominant inside with six blocks anchoring the Crusaders defensively.
HTC head coach Tony Johnson said Boeding is getting confident at the right time.
“She’s just getting her confidence right now. When they start going, that kind of builds on itself,” he said. “We’ve been working on some things on her form in practice and that’s paying off at the right time.”
Boeding didn’t score in the first quarter, but came on strong in the second quarter going 3-for-3 from the long arc. Her third was launched with just under :04 left in the half. The ball hit the front of the rim and went up on the back board, came back down on the rim bracket, hit the front of the rim, and then fell back through at the buzzer.
“When you get that kind of shot to go in things are going pretty good,” Johnson said.
The Crusaders defense held the Nikes scoreless until the 5:13 mark of the 2nd quarter. Senior Madison Mohrfeld got the Crusaders’ scoring going as she continues to play extra minutes with junior Eryn Anderson out with a broken nose. Mohrfeld opened the scoring inside at 4:26 and then HTC got a couple buckets from Box, who in four possessions had two blocks on the defensive end and two buckets on offense, in about two minutes time. She also had a couple of free throws at the end of the 8-0 run to end the quarter.
Johnson applied a 3/4 press for most of the game and the pressure took its toll in the 2nd quarter as Notre Dame committed seven turnovers. Morhfeld scored on a three-point play to start the period, then Boeding hit back-to-back 3-balls to put HTC up 17-0. The Nikes had trouble getting the ball into the offensive set for about three minutes until Taylor Ackerman hit to make it 17-3. Notre Dame wouldn’t score again in the half as the Crusaders raced to 28-3 at the break after Boeding’s three at the buzzer.
Boeding said she’s concentrating more on her form before shots.
“I’m really trying to get my feet set and keep my elbow in and make sure I have some spin on it,” she said after the game. “I feel like I’m one of the leaders on this team and it’s my job to step up and put some points in and going into the post season I want to be able to do that.”
Boeding and senior Brett Schneider started the scoring early in the third period putting up three each in the midst of a 6-0 run before Ackerman hit another 3-pointer to try and cut into HTC’s 34-6 lead. The Nikes were whistled for six fouls and committed seven turnovers in the period. Ackerman had all the points putting up seven in the period. At that point Ackerman had all of Notre Dame’s 10 points, but HTC was out comfortably by 28 going into the final period.
Boeding hit from long range to open the period and then the Crusaders went scoreless until Box scored inside on a nifty entry pass from sophomore Avery Hopper. The Nikes’ Hope Ward got on the board with when she hit four straight free throws with just over four minutes left in the game, but those would be the only points Notre Dame would get in the game.
The Crusaders, who have struggled to maintain focus in the fourth quarter this year, committed four turnovers and missed three shots in the quarter while still working in the press off made buckets.
“We got a little lazy again in the fourth and we need to clean that up,” Johnson said. “People talk about us using the press late in the game, but I have to because if weren’t not pressing we get a little lazy and lose our focus. So we press a lot.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Crusaders was Mohrfeld with seven points, Schneider and Mya Lawlor each had four points. Ashlyn Haas, who’s played in her first game of the last three with an ankle injury, scored three points, Avery Hopper had two and Sam Hoenig had one point.
At the top of the bracket, Winfield Mt. Union ended New London’s season with a 51-27 score, so HTC will face W-MU on Tuesday in Winfield at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will face the winner of Montezuma/Waco in Montezuma on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.