BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON - There was a point late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against Danville when Holy Trinity’s girls basketball team could have slowed down to try to take away the seconds ticking away to the end of a long losing streak.
Instead, the Crusaders kept getting to the basket.
The result was a season-high in points in a 61-44 triumph.
Holy Trinity (5-15 overall, 4-11 SEI Superconference South Division) snapped a seven-game losing streak, a win that can do good things for a team that has been struggling lately. With the postseason looming, and a chance to play in next week’s Superconference Shootout, momentum is critical.
“You start losing, it turns into a snowball,” Holy Trinity coach Tony Johnson said. “And then you wonder if anything’s going to happen for you.”
What happened was the team’s best offensive performance of the season.
Natalie Randolph had 18 points, Kassi Randolph had 17, Brooke Mueller had 10, and Mary Kate Bendlage had nine.
“I thought everybody who played in the game played well tonight,” Johnson said. “We had balanced scoring, and we needed that.”
Holy Trinity had a 12-2 run in the first half to take a 23-16 halftime lead, then pulled away in the second half for its biggest lead, 45-26, with seven minutes to play in the game.
Danville (6-11, 5-8) made a late run to get within single digits before the Crusaders attacked again.
“I think sometimes when you sit on the ball, it takes the wind out of them,” Johnson said. “And then you feel like, if they get a couple of easy baskets, you’re struggling to score again. When you get on attack mode, leave them in attack mode. As long as we’re not getting hurt by it, I’m good with it.”
Holy Trinity had a strong defensive effort, holding the Bears to just six second-quarter points.
“I thought we rebounded better today, too,” Johnson said. “Reward yourself, I keep telling them, for playing good defense and holding them to one shot.
It was a young lineup that Johnson started — juniors Kassi Randolph and Raquel Schneider, sophomore Kayla Box and freshmen Bendlage and Natalie Randolph. That lineup produced all but 14 of the Crusaders’ points.
“The future’s bright,” Johnson said. “We’ve had our lumps this year, we’ve had games where we’ve looked lost. Tonight they brought it.”