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Energized Knight leads HTA comeback

Basketball: Holy Trinity Academy sweeps series against Highwood

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 06:00 am

Holy Trinity Academy Knight Courtney Dow tries to split a pair ofHighwood Mustangs Feb. 5 in High River.
Holy Trinity Academy Knight Courtney Dow tries to split a pair ofHighwood Mustangs Feb. 5 in High River.
Bruce Campbell/OWW

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FAC girls schedule

FAC Sr. girls schedule
Feb. 12 Foothills at Oilfields 5:30 p.m.
Strathmore at HTA 5:30 p.m.

Sometimes all it takes is a few simple words from a coach to turn a basketball game around.

For Holy Trinity Academy Knights coach Ashley Herzog those words were: “Are you ready to go Charissa?”

Knights guard Charissa Hielema came off the bench with approximately four minutes remaining in the game and scored the final three baskets in HTA’s 57-52 victory over the Highwood Mustangs in Foothills Athletic Council senior girls basketball action Feb. 5 in High River.

Hielema was on the bench with four fouls and the Knights down by a point when Herzog asked for some help.

“I needed four minutes of good tough defence,” Herzog said. “Then she went in and made two back-to-back cuts to get open.”

Not only did she get open, Hielema made the shots to secure the victory.

It was some consolation for the tenacious Hielema, who waited impatiently to get back into the contest as playing aggressive and getting the odd foul or two is part of her game.

“Charissa sometimes gets in foul trouble because she is so aggressive, but the amount of steals and good things that happen from our aggressive play, is immeasurable,” Herzog said.

Still having to sit, sits uneasy for Hielema.

“Yes, I am totally frustrated that I am not playing,” the Grade 12 student said. “But I am learning.”

The rest was as good as a change for Hielema.

She came out fully charged and focused.

“I had a lot of energy,” she said. “We knew we had to put that energy in both offensively and we had to do it defensively… It was a team effort.”

The Knights went into the game with a short bench. They were missing starting point guard Grade 10 student Ashley Bishop as well as Lauren Bruce.

As a result, it was a committee who brought the ball up for the Knights.

“We don’t have a natural point guard when Ashley is not on the floor,” Herzog said. “Claire (Thorimbert) brings up the ball, Jenna (Lorenz) brings up the ball, Charissa brings up the ball, we have to spread it around.”

The five-foot-10 Lorenz is more comfortable snaring rebounds and swatting away shots, than bringing up the ball, but it’s all part of being a Knight.

“Oh, I love it,” a sarcastic Lorenz said. “It’s hard, but give it to me. I will do whatever Ms. Herzog asks — any positions.”

Hielema led the Knights in scoring with 21 points and Abigail Hartman contributed 10 to HTA’s victory. The Mustangs’ Trailena Hill topped all players with 26 points.

It was the third time the Knights have downed the Mustangs this season. All of the games have been decisions of eight points or less. Herzog isn’t taking anything for granted if they should meet in the playoffs.

“I told the girls that they (Highwood) are a team that works so incredibly hard,” Herzog said.

t is going to be incredibly challenging if we meet them in the quarterfinals. They are well-coached by Curt (Colfer) and a team like that can be dangerous…. and they like to beat HTA.”

Colfer would like another shot at the Knights and maybe stopping Hielema.

“She attacks really well and she just has that innate ability to skate when she needs to — if you let her into the paint, she is going to score,” Colfer said. “We lost to these guys three times and it’s been close.

“We got off to a slow start — not the start we needed to beat HTA.”

The Knights are 4-1 and are in second place in the FAC behind the first-place Foothills Falcons at 4-0. The Mustangs are in fourth-place at 1-4.

In other Foothills Athletic Council action last week, the Oilfields Drillers were beaten by Strathmore in Black Diamond on Feb. 5.

The Mustangs dropped a decision to the Spartans on Dec. 10. For more information on the FAC go to www.foothillsathletics.ca

bcampbell@okotoks.greatwest.ca


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