February 19th, 2011

Holy Cross Slips By Bethlehem 63-61

Holly Freeland

Staff Writer

Holy Cross Slips By Bethlehem 63-61
photo by Holly Freeland

Cougars celebrate Senior Night, Homecoming with victory

On an evening that featured both Senior Night and Winter Homecoming for Holy Cross High School, the Cougars showed they had even bigger plans for the night as they handled the Bethlehem Eagles in a close victory, 63-61.


It was a cuththroat, neck and neck battle from the tip off, as the game featured many tie scores, several lead changes and a frantic ending that would finish off the winning hopes of the visitors from Bardstown.


Holy Cross got down by as many as six points in the first quarter as Bethlehem took an 8-2 lead with 5:20 left to go in the opening quarter. Holy Cross would come back though, and after a tie and losing the lead again, the Cougars took the one-point advantage into the second quarter with a score of 20-19.


Holy Cross junior Kendall Hammerstrom got things going for the home team early in the second quarter as he hit a 3-pointer to put his team up 23-19.  The next eight minutes saw no less than four lead changes, and Bethlehem ultimately got payback for the one-point deficit in the first quarter to take a 39-38 lead into halftime. Thanks to a last-second field goal by senior T.J. Schuler, the Cougars were able to keep the difference at one point, rather than three.


The third quarter was unquestionably uneventful for the Cougars as they managed to only put 7 points on the scoreboard. Luckily for them, Bethlehem struggled as well and was unable to take advantage of the low scoring of the Cougars, instead only taking a 4 point lead into the final quarter of the game, 45-49. After scoring in double figures in the first half including three 3-pointers, Hammerstrom seemed to be held at bay as he finished the third scoreless.


After an initial 3-point shot by Bethlehem and going down by seven points early in the 4th quarter at 54-45, the Cougars rallied around their defense, holding Bethlehem scoreless for nearly three minutes in the fourth. That suffocating defense allowed the offensive game to come to them, outscoring the Eagles 18-12 in the final quarter. Behind a key turnover and some efficient time-out calling, the Cougars held on to win the game 63-61.


Holy Cross had a balanced scoring attack as four players, Hammerstrom, Schuler, and Cody Couch all registered in double figures. The victory gives the Cougars a nearly .500 record at 14-15 and 1-3 in the district.


Their next game is during the 21st District Tournament against Beth Haven, which will be held at Western High School, Feb. 21 at 7:30pm.


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