BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST BURLINGTON – The West Burlington girls basketball team is 5-0 on the year and is averaging about 69 points an outing, outpacing most boys squads.
The Lady Falcons put on another show Friday night blitzing Holy Trinity Catholic 73-30 in West Burlington in a Southeast Iowa Superconference South Division matchup.
An upbeat HTC Head Coach Tony Johnson said after the game he told the girls this would be a good game to measure themselves because West Burlington is one of the better teams they’ll face all year.
“We talked about at practice. They are super senior-oriented team, and super talented. I don’t know if they’re ranked or not – and it doesn’t matter – but they are the best team we’ll play all year,” he said.
“I told the girls to learn from it, keep running the offense, keep pounding away at it, and it will make us better for tomorrow and make us better for the future.”
West Burlington Head Coach John Vandenberg had the Falcons (5-0) in an intermittent full court press to start the game. A move that the Crusaders did a decent job handling, but HTC couldn’t get shots to fall and rarely got a second chance in the half court as West Burlington was scoring regularly in transition.
The Falcons jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead when Natalie Vandenberg buried a 3-ball from the left wing. HTC’s Cassie Randolph answered with a three from the left baseline to make it a 5-3 game, but that’s as close as HTC would get all night.
West Burlington, averaging just under 69 points per outing, would go off on a 18-4 run with senior Leah Collier scoring seven in the run. Sidney Marlow added five on the way to a 36-9 first quarter lead.
Holy Trinity would be kept off balance on the offensive side of the ball converting just 3 of 11 in the second quarter, while West Burlington went 10 of 13 from the field extending the lead to 58-20 at the half.
With Vandenberg subbing liberally in the second half, the pace slowed in the third period, but HTC would only manage a field goal and a free throw. The Crusader defense held the Falcons to just nine points, but a running clock was in play with West Burlington up 44 going into the final period.
“I knew they scored a lot in transition. About 70% of their offense comes in transition and that was our focus in practice. But they are athletic and really good team that plays really well together,” Johnson said.
“I told our girls not to hang their heads, use tonight for tomorrow. We wont face a team this quick again the rest of the year.”
Senior Bailey Hellweg would hit a three-pointer with time flying by in the in the final minutes of fourth quarter to get HTC to 30. She would finish with 5 on the night. Randolph led Holy Trinity with six.
Mary Kate Bendlage and Reagan Holvoet each had four points for Holy Trinity. Natalie Randolph had three on the night and Raquel Schneider, Maria Rauenbuehler, Kayla Box and Brooke Mueller each had two.
Marlow led all scorers with 16, 14 in the first half.
The Crusaders travel to Mediapolis today for a junior varsity/varsity girls double headers starting at 2 p.m.