BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – With each missed shot, the night got longer for Holy Trinity’s boys basketball team.
And against a team like New London, a sluggish offense can be devastating.
The Crusaders’ 69-31 loss to the Tigers at Shottenkirk Gym was one that got away early.
“We always talk about effort and execution,” Holy Trinity coach John Hellige said. “And tonight I thought we had good effort. For whatever reason, we couldn’t make a basket to save our life.”
Holy Trinity (5-5 overall, 4-4 SEI Superconference South Division) seemed to have some momentum after the second half of Tuesday’s loss at Wapello, when the Crusaders scored 38 second-half points after just 10 in the first half.
They couldn’t duplicate that against the Tigers (6-2, 6-1) after making just six field goals in the first half. New London led 31-13 at halftime, then outscored the Crusaders 13-0 to start the second half.
“We couldn’t miss in our second half at Wapello,” Hellige said. “I figured our second half tonight would be better than the first half, but for whatever reason it wasn’t.
“I felt like we had focused practices all week, and I really felt good coming into this game. But when your defense has to be absolutely perfect, it’s tough. If we hit a few shots, it takes pressure off the defense, and off our kids.”
Vasin Thurman led Holy Trinity with 14 points, but no other Crusader scored in double figures.
Sophomore Blaise Porter led New London with 25 points. Camden Kasel had 14. Devin Swanson had 11 points, and Kade Benjamin had 10.
Holy Trinity, in the midst of a six-game stretch in the next two weeks, plays host to Winfield-Mount Union on Saturday.
“We’re just going to have to flush this one,” Hellige said. “If we miss a shot or two, we tend to tense up. And it’s just contagious for us right now.”