BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – You lose a basketball game by 48 points, you’re not going to forget it.
On Tuesday night, Holy Trinity’s girls basketball team remembered.
The Crusaders took a 63-56 win over West Burlington, sprinting to an early lead before closing the game with a perfect final 2:19 from the free-throw line.
“It’s the right time of year,” Holy Trinity coach Tony Johnson said, “to have a win like that. They’re top two, three, in the (SEI Superconference), so to get a win like this, it’s huge.”
Especially what happened the last two times these teams played.
They met on Jan. 3 in West Burlington, and the Falcons took an 83-35 win.
“They were embarrassed,” Johnson said. “I knew tonight we would get a better effort. You never know what you’re going to get night to night. But I knew getting beat by (almost) 50 up there, they were embarrassed.”
They weren’t going to be on this night.
Holy Trinity (11-9) scored the first seven points of the game, but West Burlington (15-4) rallied to lead 14-13 at the end of the quarter. That is when the Crusaders took over.
They scored the first eight points of the second quarter, outscoring West Burlington 18-4 in the quarter.
“We came out fast, which was great, and we carried the momentum the rest of the way,” Johnson said.
The Crusaders were able to handle the Falcons’ pressure defense when it was used — the struggle to make shots by West Burlington kept the Falcons from getting set up for most of the second quarter.
“We worked last night on breaking the press, and we worked on our free throws,” Johnson said. “Both of those things came into play in this game.”
West Burlington’s Sydney Marlow scored 40 points on the Crusaders in the first game, but she played sparingly after falling ill in the first quarter.
West Burlington got to within 31-26 to open the second half before the Crusaders closed the third quarter on a 15-9 run.
The Falcons made one more push. They closed to within 53-49, but Holy Trinity would close the game by going 10-of-10 in free throws, with eight of those coming from Ashlyn Haas.
Haas finished with 16 points. Kassi Randolph had 14 points, and Claire Pothitakis added 12.
Annaka Harris led West Burlington with 17 points. Natalie Vandenberg had 15.