BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Holy Trinity Catholic girls basketball team is just one win from tying an HTC record for wins in a season.
Thursday’s 78-30 Southeast Iowa Superconference win over visiting Cardinal of Eldon gave the Lady Crusaders their 13th win of the season against six losses. The 2014-15 HTC squad put up 14 wins.
Holy Trinity has a shot to tie that mark on Monday prior to post-season play when they host Burlington Notre Dame in girls/boys varsity double header.
Senior Emily Box led HTC in the win Thursday with 18 points including 12 in the first half as Cardinal had trouble finding answers to the Lady Crusaders’ inside game. Fellow senior Eryn Anderson had 13 and went seven of 10 at the free throw line. Junior Avery Hopper was also in double figures with 12 points. Hopper, Anderson and Box all play in the post for HTC.
Holy Trinity had the game in hand early racing out to a 22-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter behind Box’s eight points. Junior Ashlynn Haas and senior Taylor Boeding each hit for 3-balls in the first quarter.
HTC would push the lead to 52-18 at the half continuing to work the inside game and getting the foul line 12 times in the period. The Lady Crusaders backed off the gas in the final two periods, but the defense held Cardinal to just 12 points in the second half to cruise to the win.
The Crusaders start Region 5 play on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at Shottenkirk Gym where they will face the winner of a Feb. 7 Burlington Notre-Dame/New London matchup. The winner of that second round game will travel to Sigourney for a 7 p.m. matchup against either WACO, Winfield-Mt. Union or Sigourney. Sigourney has a first-round bye in that quarter of the bracket.
Montezuma is the top seed in the bracket with Moravia, Twin Cedars, Keota, English Valleys, Moulton-Udell and Melcher-Dallas. Montezuma is 16-1 and currently ranked 3rd in the state by the IHSGAU.
No other schools in the Region 5 bracket are ranked in the top 15. Sigourney is 12-3 on the year with all three losses to ranked teams. They lost to Montezuma by two 26-24 on Dec. 14. Sigourney had a 4-point lead going into the final period of the game, but Montezuma put up 15 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the win on the road.
The Lady Crusaders honored Box, Boeding, Anderson and Mya Lawlor following the game in senior night recognition.