BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
DANVILLE — Tony Johnson knew his Holy Trinity girls basketball team left a lot of points behind in Tuesday’s 51-44 loss to Danville.
The Crusaders, who scored a season-high 80 points on the Bears in a win earlier this season, squandered countless opportunities in this game.
“Missed free throws, missed rebounds, too many hurried shots,” Johnson said. “It’s on me. We’ll fix it tomorrow.”
The Crusaders (10-7 overall, 10-4 SEI Superconference South Division) were coming off a 52-30 win over Cardinal on Monday night. But Danville (6-10, 5-7) kept the pressure on Holy Trinity throughout the game.
Defensive stops were turned into longer possessions because of missed rebounds. The Crusaders were also 10-for-20 in free throws, 5-of-12 in the first half when they had a chance to extend an early lead.
“We shoot hundreds of free throws every night in practice,” Johnson said. “There’s no excuse. Zero.”
Those misses proved costly late in the first half. Holy Trinity led 23-17 with 3:12 to play, but the Bears scored the final nine points of the quarter.
Holy Trinity got the lead back to open the third quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers from Teagan Snaadt and Natalie Randolph, but the Bears answered with a 7-1 run.
Danville led by as much as seven points twice in the second half before the Crusaders rallied. They tied the game at 42 on Kassi Randolph’s basket inside, but they would miss their next five shots over the next three minutes as the Bears took control of the game.
“We took a lot of shots too early, rather than work it around,” Johnson said. “And when we missed shots, we didn’t get rebounds. There was no reason not to win tonight.”
Brooke Mueller led Holy Trinity with 13 points. Snaadt had nine. Mary Kate Bendlage had seven.
Holy Trinity stayed in second place in the division, a half-game ahead of Central Lee. The two teams play Friday at Holy Trinity.
“We have to play better,” Johnson said.