BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Missing some key components to this year’s squad, the Holy Trinity Crusaders got their basketball season underway with a 55-37 loss to Central Lee Tuesday night.
The Lady Hawks jumped out to quick 7-2 lead, but HTC would tied it up at 7 with just under four minutes gone in the first period. Central Lee would outscore Holy Trinity 7-4 through the remained of the period for a 14-11 first quarter lead.
Central Lee’s 1-2 punch of freshman Makayla Morrison and junior Mya Merschman combined for 40 of Central Lee’s points on the night. Mershman had 13 in the first half as the Hawks went up up 32-19 at halftime.
Central Lee would extend the lead in the third quarter to 19 as they ran away from the short-handed Crusaders.
Senior Ashlynn Haas led HTC with 11 points, followed by senior Avery Hopper with 10. Sophomore Raquel Schnieder scored nine and junior Bailey Hellweg scored seven, including the Crusaders only 3-pointer of the night in the first half.
Head Coach Tony Johnson said we was proud of the girls efforts.
“We laid a foundation for the season. We got the shots we wanted on offense,” he said.
“The defense and rebounding will come around. We had four new starters this season so it will take some time go gel. I know this group of girls will roll their sleeves up and get back in the gym and get better.”
Merschman finished with a game-high 23 points, while Morrison had 17 including 4-of-5 from the 3-point arc.
May Watkins and Daily Brisby each had five for Central Lee. Ella Sanders added three points and Kaylynn Summers had a bucket.
Central Lee (1-0) takes on New London (1-3) on the road Tuesday as the regular season gets into full swing. Holy Trinity (0-1) hosts Danville (0-0) the same night.