BURLINGTON — Holy Trinity’s boys basketball season is heading into its final weeks.
Which is why coach John Hellige challenged his team after Tuesday’s 54-42 loss at Notre Dame.
It’s time, Hellige said, for the Crusaders to get tougher.
Holy Trinity (5-12 overall, 3-9 SEI Superconference South Division) trailed 32-23 at halftime, and was down 45-30 before going on a 9-0 run to close the gap with 3:55 to play. But the Crusaders would get just three points the rest of the game.
“Tonight, overall, we just didn't have as many scoring options as we typically have,” Hellige said. “And we just really weren't tough enough — loose balls defensive rebounding you know. We've got to get tougher.
“We’re just not playing tough enough yet, night in and night out, to compete with the top teams in the South Division.”
Luke Hellige had 18 points, but no other Crusader scored in double figures. Conner Gehling had nine points, and Layne Rung had eight.
“Their size got to us a little bit,” John Hellige said.
The Nikes just steadily pulled away throughout the second and third quarter. Holy Trinity had just eight second-quarter points and only two field goals in the third quarter.
Matthew Booten led Notre Dame (13-4, 9-3) with 15 points. Hunter Lillie had 13 points and Liam Delaney had 10.
“Matt Booten had a heck of a game and we weren’t expecting it,” Hellige said. “Caden Schwenker had a ton of offensive boards and that hurt. And their role players played really, really well.”
Holy Trinity has games against Wapello, Van Buren, and Central Lee in the next seven days.
“We talked about being tougher this next few weeks,” Hellige said. “You know, it's just a matter of desire, heart, and just grittiness.”