BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
SIGOURNEY – If it wasn’t the turnovers that did them in, the poor shooting didn’t help.
The Holy Trinity Lady Crusaders committed 24 turnovers, shot 31% from the field and just 2-6 from the free throw line, in a 36-25 loss to Sigourney in Class 1A Region 5 basketball Friday night.
Holy Trinity wraps up a 15-7 season with the loss, which was one game over Head Coach Tony Johnson’s season high in wins.
He said the Lady Crusaders were forcing the offense and not being patient in the half-court.
“We just would come down and instead of running an offense and trying to streamline things, they started to panic. We tried to spread the floor a bit and when we did that we were able to get shots, but we missed a ton of inside shots today,” Johnson said.
Sigourney started with a 4-0 run in the first before Emily Box could get a bucket inside. She would score the first two buckets for Holy Trinity, but the Crusaders would get stuck on 4 as the Savages ran up a 12-4 lead.
With 3:25 left in the first quarter, HTC committed its first turnover and it was like the floodgates opened at that point. After junior Avery Hopper hit a short jumper from the left baseline cutting Sigourney’s lead to six, the Crusaders would commit three turnovers on consecutive possessions to end the quarter.
Box opened the 2nd quarter with a short jumper in the lane to cut the lead to four. Holy Trinity would miss six of their next seven shots before senior Taylor Boeding hit a layup just before the halftime buzzer. Sigourney’s Stacia Hammes fouled Boeding on the play and the senior converted for a 13-18 halftime deficit.
Sigourney was saddled with some poor shooting of their own as they hit 3 of 9 allowing the Lady Crusaders to hang in the game.
Trailing by five going into the third, Box made a move inside, drawing a foul, but missed both the free throws. Johnson tried to get the inside-out game going and was able to get the ball in to senior Eryn Anderson on the next possession.
Anderson drove the lane and drew another foul, and converted just one of the two free throws. Sigourney got buckets from Kaylee Weber and Megan Stuhr to push the lead to eight before Holy Trinity’s Mya Lawlor converted under the basket for a 16-22 deficit.
The Lady Crusaders would then miss the next five shots mixed in with four turnovers. The Crusaders’ defense would hold, as Sigourney wouldn’t get a shot off for about three minutes, outside of two free throws by Weber at the 2:11 mark.
Anderson would make a layup to cut into the lead but Makenna Hammes would score for the Savages for a 26–18 lead going into the final period.
Junior Ashlynn Haas scored to open the fourth and Sigourney would miss their first two shots from the field. But Holy Trinity couldn’t capitalize on the dry spell. Box would score in the lane off a rebound, to cut the lead to four, but then Holy Trinity would slip into another critical shooting slump.
The girls missed eight consecutive shots down the stretch and committed four more turnovers before Taylor Boeding would hit on her first three pointer of the night with about 10 seconds left in the game to cut the lead to nine.
Sigourney wouldn’t score from the field after the four-minute mark in the fourth period. But they took advantage of three trips to the foul line where they scored four of six to put the game away.
The Lady Crusaders didn’t have a single player in double figure scoring. Box led the team with eight points followed by Boeding with six, Haas with four points, and Anderson with three. Avery Hopper and Lawlor each had a bucket for Holy Trinity.
Johnson said the seniors, Box, Anderson, Boeding, and Lawlor, will be hard to replace.
“I told them it was probably the funnest four years I’ve had coaching a single group,” he said.
“They’ve gotten so much better in the last four years. A lot of these girls played for me as freshman year so they’ve played a lot of varsity basketball for me.”