Holy trinity

#2 Bloodhounds Ride Holy Trinity > PenCityCurrent.com

BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
CCP SPORTS

FORT MADISON – Speed. The duration. The experience.
It was, said Holy Trinity boys’ basketball coach John Hellige, overwhelming.
Fort Madison turned its home field into a superspeedway on Saturday, earning a 78-40 win over city rival Crusaders.
The Bloodhounds (10-0), ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Class 3A poll, led 17-2 after the first 3 minutes and 11 seconds.
That’s why Hellige looked for a NASCAR analogy to describe why this game could benefit the Crusaders with the playoffs looming.
“You talk about a strong, quick and athletic team,” Hellige said of the Bloodhounds. “In a game like this, in the face of the press, the strength and the speed that they have, when we go back down to level 1A at the time of the district, I told the children that it was like the Daytona 500 And hopefully Districts 1A will be like Lee County Speedway for us after this game.

Fort Madison’s Phillip Goldie made just a two-handed dunk in the first half of the Hounds’ 78-40 win over Holy Trinity on Saturday at the Hound Dome. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/CPC
HTC’s Connor Gehling goes up for the jumper at Fort Madison’s Reiburn Turnbull passes the defense hands up. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/CPC

The Bloodhounds looked like one of the best teams in the state. But coach Ryan Wilson knows high rankings always come at a price.
“It’s nice to be ranked, it’s nice to be recognized statewide for the hard work of these kids,” he said. “But in the end, it’s a number in front of you. You are the hunted, people want to come and bring you down. You are now the big target in Southeast Iowa. Everyone will give us the best of themselves. And we have to be ready for that.
That’s why Wilson called a timeout with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter and his team was leading 60-31. He didn’t like his team’s concentration at that time, and he wanted to emphasize that every game has to be sold out.
“I was like, ‘Just stay focused.’ We have 32 minutes to focus,” Wilson said. “I saw guys looking around, talking to people in the crowd. You can not do this. So I was like, ‘Hey, hold back, stay focused.’
The Bloodhounds listened. They went on an 11-2 run, forcing a running clock for the rest of the game.
The struggle for the Crusaders (2-11) early on was just getting the ball across center court. The Fort Madison press, with Dayton Davis in the lead, was nothing but constant harassment. Hellige used two timeouts in the opening 2 1/2 minutes after the Crusaders committed four turnovers to fall 12-2.
“Their press, it really touched us,” he said. “When you have young guys there, like we have. We’ve been training all week so we don’t get rattled by the press, but Davis has been so active for a long time. It was just a bit overwhelming for our guys.
Davis led the Bloodhounds with 23 points. Miles Dear had 22. Conner Gehling had 22 for the Crusaders.
“We just tried to keep things in perspective – eight seniors against a lot of youngsters. It’s a tough match,” Hellige said. “Tonight we were overwhelmed in the first half.”
Fort Madison won’t play again until next Friday against Keokuk. With Friday’s game against Burlington postponed due to weather, Wilson was hoping the Bloodhounds could play that game.
“It was good to play this weekend,” he said. “Leaving two potential weeks off because of the weather was a bit long. I’m glad that didn’t happen.
“A bit sloppy, but a win is a win.”