Hopper goes for 20 in Crusaders win

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC STAFF

FORT MADISON – Senior Avery Hopper scored 20 and junior Claire Pothitakis scored 12 as the Holy Trinity girls eased past Cardinal 47-18 Tuesday night.

The win helps the Crusaders back to .500 on the year at 5-5. HTC had lost four of it’s last five games after starting the year 3-1.

Hopper had all nine points first quarter points for HTC as they rushed out to a 9-4 first quarter lead.

HTC’s Brooke Mueller battles underneath with Cardinal’s Shaelyn Rupe in Tuesday night’s 47-18 win at Shottenkirk Gym. The Crusaders are 5-5 on the year and take on Central Lee (7-4) Friday night on the road. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Cardinal would make some adjustments in the second period and held the senior post to just four in the second quarter. A bucket from Pothitakis would be the only other scoring for HTC in that period, but the Crusader defense held Cardinal to just five points and a 15-9 first half cushion.

HTC pulled away 28-11 holding Cardinal to just two free throws.

Head Coach Tony Johnson said he switched up to a man defense to bring a little quicker intensity to the game.

“Our defense was a better. We went to a little man defense tonight to get the intensity picked up so we didn’t come out flat,” Johnson said.

“That’s been our trouble the last couple games, you don’t have the intensity and you get down 12 points and then you’re in a hole all night.”

With Hopper getting all the attention inside and out, Pothitakis was able to work free for eight fourth quarter points mostly under the basket on offensive rebounds as HTC pulled away for the win.

Bailey Hellweg finished with five on the night for HTC, while Ali Robu had four off the bench. Brooke Mueller, Raquel Schneider, and Ashlyn Haas each had two points for HTC.

Johnson said Hellweg, who’s been starting most of the year, came off the bench and gave the Crusaders some important minutes.

“Bailey played really well coming off the bench. We switched starters around trying to get things mixed up and create some energy there, too, and that seemed to work.”

Cardinal (2-9) was led by Alexia McClure with seven.

The Crusaders travel to Central Lee (7-4), who’ve won five of their last six, for Friday night girls/boys varsity double header.

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