Slow start dooms Crusaders

New London rolls to 68-47 win over Holy Trinity boys


FORT MADISON - New London’s first-half run set the tone, and left Holy Trinity’s boys basketball team chasing the Tigers the rest of the night.
The Tigers built an 18-point first-half lead, and kept the Crusaders from mounting any big threat the rest of the game in the 68-47 win on Friday night at Shottenkirk Gymnasium.
New London (12-4 overall, 10-2 SEI Superconference South Division) had a 22-9 first-half run to take a 33-15 lead with 3 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter. But every time the Crusaders (5-11, 3-8) chipped a little off the margin, the Tigers would race away.
New London’s transition game was especially effective against the Crusaders.
“Some of those run-outs were really frustrating tonight,” Holy Trinity coach John Hellige said. “The transition was a little hard for us.”
Holy Trinity was within 9-6 early before the Tigers took control. The first-half struggles are something Hellige says the Crusaders have to eliminate.
“We’ve just got to find a way to come out in ballgames at the start with more intensity, more toughness, versus us trying to get that mojo, or whatever, going by the second quarter,” Hellige said. “We just have to get off to a better start.”
Holy Trinity trailed 35-22 at halftime and had the ball coming out of the break, but New London scored the first six points of the half in the first 90 seconds. The Tigers led by as much as 22 points in the third quarter, and while the Crusaders would get to within 14 on three occasions later in the half, New London would always have an answer.
“We’re just not matching the intensity of a team like New London right now,” Hellige said. “Hopefully we get another chance at them down the road this year.
“They get out fast. And we probably should have had a better game plan of getting guys back rather than going for the offensive rebound. We made that adjustment, but it was a little too late there in the first half.”
Blaise Porter had 25 points for New London. Kade Benjamin had 17.
“Those seniors from New London are pretty good players,” Hellige said. “Those guys are great ballplayers. And we’re still pretty young — we played a majority of the game with two freshmen on the court and sophomores out there.”
Luke Hellige led Holy Trinity with 17 points. Conner Gehling had 13.

New London, Tigers, Holy Trinity Catholic, Crusaders, Southeast Iowa Superconference, basketball, boys, varsity, sports, Pen City Current, Fort Madison,


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