BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
DANVILLE — The fuel ran out.
There was enough gas to carry Holy Trinity’s boys basketball team into late in the third quarter against No. 10 (Class 1A) Danville in Tuesday’s game.
Eventually, though, the Bears just wore down the Crusaders.
The 63-41 loss was another example of how much Holy Trinity has improved this season, even if it didn’t show in the final score.
The Crusaders (3-14 overall, 3-10 SEI Superconference South Division) were within five points on three occasions, the last time at 41-36 with 1:30 left in the third quarter. But Danville (14-1, 11-1) pulled away, outscoring Holy Trinity 22-5 the rest of the game.
It was the second game in two days for the Crusaders, who lost 54-53 to Cardinal on Monday night.
“We played a lot better last night,” Holy Trinity coach John Hellige said. “Tonight, we had tired legs.”
Holy Trinity, which lost to Danville 72-35 at home earlier this season, was down 16-5 late in the first quarter of this game and trailed 32-19 at halftime. But the Crusaders opened the second half with a 7-2 run in the first 1:30.
“We came out a little lethargic,” Hellige said. “We kind of got energized for the third quarter there, played pretty solid.”
Maddox Rung’s 3-pointer got the Crusaders within 37-32 with 2:50 left in the quarter. The teams traded baskets, and when Conner Gehling scored on a putback, the Danville lead was just 41-36. But the Bears scored six points over the final 1:10, then opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run.
“Their defense was pretty stifling,” Hellige said. “It was hard to get anything going, set-wise.”
Mike DiPrima led the Crusaders with 12 points. Rung had 10.
“We’re making strides every night,” Hellige said. “The kids are playing well. We’re making strides from the beginning of the year. Just try to keep building.”