BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – It was clear early that this was not going to be a good beginning of the season for Holy Trinity’s boys basketball team.
That’s why coach John Hellige wanted smaller victories.
The 58-29 loss to WACO on Tuesday was more about the little things, because Hellige knows this is a long season.
“We talked in the huddle about, OK, let’s win this possession,” he said. “Let’s win this defensive play, or let’s win this offensive play. It’s going to be a building process.”
Half of the Crusaders’ roster are freshmen, and with the lack of experience there will be nights like these.
WACO opened the game with a 26-4 run that lasted into midway through the second quarter.
“It’s just a big stage to expect this out of freshmen and sophomores,” Hellige said. “Typically these guys are enjoying JV success, but they’re forced to play major league here right off the bat.”
WACO’s biggest lead was 50-19 in the fourth quarter, but the Crusaders were able to avoid the 35-point deficit that triggers the running clock for the rest of the game.
Luke Hellige and Connor Gehling each had eight points for the Crusaders.
“There are a lot of positives to take away from here tonight,” John Hellige said. “I told the boys it’s a long season, we just need to nibble away here every day, and keep working hard to improve.”