HTC boys keep Hawks winless

BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
PCC SPORTS

DONNELLSON – John Hellige promoted his players Friday night.
Holy Trinity’s boys basketball team grew up a little bit in a 51-39 win at Central Lee, and it started with the pronouncements by the Crusaders’ head coach before the game.
“I told the freshmen, ‘You’re sophomores tonight,’” Hellige said. “I told the sophomores, ‘You’re juniors.’ I told the juniors, ‘You’re seniors tonight.’ I told the seniors, ‘You’re fifth-year seniors tonight.’ So you’re going to play like it.”
The Crusaders (2-5) have been battling maturity all season, but perhaps they grew up a bit with how they finished this win. They held Central Lee (0-6) to just two points over the final 5 1/2 minutes after the Hawks got to within 39-37.
“I think it was just really tough defense,” Hellige said. “I’ve been talking toughness, and grittiness. We’ve been talking about ‘gritty’ in the locker room. With freshmen and sophomores out here, sometimes you don’t know what that means. And in the second half, we started to understand what it takes to get good defensive stops, good box outs and get rebounds. And we took care of the ball better.”
Inexperience is a problem for Central Lee, but coach Kritter Hayes didn’t want to use that word.
“We just have to overcome (the mistakes) at some period in time,” Hayes said. “We can’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same result. That’s what we got — we got the same result.”
The game was close until the final minutes. Central Lee had an early 15-8 lead before Holy Trinity rallied to lead 22-21 at halftime. Holy Trinity’s biggest lead in the second half until that final run was six points twice.
“We played well at times, really well at times, when we execute our stuff,” Hayes said. “When we go our own way and we start doing things outside of what we’re doing, we get sped up and we make bad mistakes.”
It was the most points scored by the Crusaders this season.
“I’m seeing little improvements every day,” Hellige said. “We wanted this win tonight. But even if we wouldn’t have gotten the win, we’re still going to build, and still get those little wins we talk about.”
Adam Sobczak led Holy Trinity with 12 points. Conner Gehling had 11.
“I thought Adam did a great job of running the team tonight,” Hellige said.
Brayden Wyrick led Central Lee with 12 points.

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