BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – Slow starts have been a problem at times for the Holy Trinity boys basketball team.
It was a big problem for the Crusaders in Tuesday’s 49-42 loss to West Burlington.
Holy Trinity trailed 19-3 in the first quarter, and was behind by 16 points at the end of the third quarter, and still had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds.
Jason Thurman, who had hit three 3-pointers to lead the fourth-quarter comeback, missed an open three from the right corner with 30 seconds left as the Crusaders trailed 45-42.
“It’s kind of been the story of the season,” Holy Trinity coach John Hellige said.
“If we can get out of the gate a little better there, it’s maybe a different outcome.”
The Crusaders outscored West Burlington 18-5 in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, getting to within 45-42 on a 3-pointer from Chandler Rung. But every time Holy Trinity had a chance to cut into the lead, the Falcons would get the ball right back.
“All those little possessions here, possessions there, they add up,” Hellige said.
“These kids have a lot of fortitude. They have no quit.”
Quentin Schneider had 11 points to lead Holy Trinity. Thurman had nine, and Vasin Thurman added seven. Holy Trinity had just three first-quarter points — a layup from Rung with 3:50 left, and a free throw from Vasin Thurman with 10 seconds left.
Holy Trinity had a 10-3 run to get within single digits before West Burlington scored the last four points in the final minute.
It was another climb the Crusaders have faced this season.
“That was the challenge after the game,” Hellige said. “What do we have to do before the game to be the aggressor, and not have to chase people for 3 ½ quarters?”
The Crusaders are 6-12 on the year and travel to Cardinal on Thursday night.