St. John’s senior Jessica Recker contorts her body to try and get this shot off successfully among three Coldwater players Thursday night at Arnzen Gymnasium. She scored 17 points but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Blue Jays fell to the Cavaliers.
DELPHOS — St. John’s seemingly had things going its way Thursday night in Midwest Athletic Conference girls basketball action at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.
The Lady Blue Jays led Coldwater 34-28 heading into the final period.
Alas for the Jays, basketball is a 4-quarter game and the Lady Cavaliers owned the finale 17-7 to grab a 45-41 victory.
In truth, Coldwater sophomore Hannah Bruns (18 markers, 9 boards) owned the fourth, scoring 10 of the team’s points. She got away from the Blue Jay defense either in transition or by posting up in the half-court game. Her transition deuce at 3:04 gave Coldwater the lead for good at 42-41. Brooke Welsch hit a pair of free throws at 2:00 to move that to 44-41. Sophomore Jill Kanney could only hit one of six freebies — including two front end of the bonus — in the final 52.1 ticks but the Cavalier 1-2-2 zone defense made that stand up. The Jays (5-4, 1-2) committed six of their 14 game turnovers in the final four minutes and they missed their final six shots to go scoreless the last five minutes.
“We weren’t tough enough to finish this game. They upped their pressure on both ends of the floor and we didn’t respond,” Jays mentor Dan J. Grothouse said. “We didn’t handle their defensive pressure and either turned the ball over, missed the shots we took or didn’t take shots we should have. Then they just beat us down the floor; we didn’t get back defensively. We have to toughen up to win these games.”
The first period saw both team’s offenses being forced to work the ball for good shots, the Cavaliers using their 1-2-2 zone and the Jays their man-to-man defense. Kanney hit a pair of treys for the visitors but senior Jessica Recker (17 counters, 4 trios) countered those with two of her own for the hosts. In fact, her 3-ball from the right corner at the 25-second mark gave the Blue and Gold an 11-10 edge.
The Lady Jays’ bigs: 5-11 senior Katie Vorst and 5-11 freshman Sydney Fischbach; both picked up their second fouls in the quarter and were done for the half.
Recker and Kanney renewed their battle in the second period, with Recker netting six and Kanney five. However, St. John’s junior Erica Saine (8 counters) gave her teammate a little more support with four markers, while the only other Cavalier to score was Bruns with a basket. Saine’s mid-lane pull-up jumper at 1:02 gave the host their biggest lead of 21-12 but Kanney scored all her points, including a 26-footer from out front at 6.1 ticks, to get within 21-17.
Even though both team shot well in the third — combining for 10-of-16 — they had to work hard to get those looks. Kanney continued her consistency, scoring another five markers, but this time it was St. John’s junior Emilie Fischbach who more than matched that with a pair of triples. Every time the Jays seemed on the verge of putting it away, the Lady Cavs had the answer. Fischbach’s triple from the left wing at 1:15 put her squad up 34-26 but Kanney hit a running 5-foot teardrop at 50 ticks to make it 34-28.
“That was a problem all game. We had chances to build bigger leads or even put it away and we didn’t make the plays needed,” Grothouse added. “We’d have a turnover or a missed shot and they’d beat us down the floor to get an easy look. We did a lot of good things tonight and we did show improvement. Now we just have to play for four quarters and do so consistently.”
In sum, Coldwater finished 17-of-40 (3-of-7 triples) for 42.5 percent; 8-of-13 at the line (61.5%); with 25 caroms (9 offensive); and adding 12 turnovers and a mere seven fouls. Megan Muhlenkamp delivered five assists and three steals before fouling out.
In toto, St. John’s was 15-of-38 shooting from the field (8-of-19 long range) for 39.5 percent; hit all three singles; nabbed 22 boards (5 offensive) as Vorst had seven; and totaled 16 fouls. Junior Brooke Zuber handed off five dimes. They visit Fort Jennings for a 12:30 p.m. (junior varsity start) clash Saturday.
In JV action, Coldwater outscored the Jays 28-13 in the second half to take a 37-30 triumph.
Erica Sudhoff and Denise Schwieterman each netted nine for the Lady Cavaliers, while freshman Rachel Pohlman dropped in 16 for the Jays.
Megan Muhlenkamp 1-0-2, Joelle Hemmelgarn 0-0-0, Ali Dues 0-0-0, Bridget Dues 0-0-0, Brooke Welsch 1-2-4, Hannah Bruns 7-4-18, Sarah Kanney 6-2-17, Karla Borgerding 2-0-4. Totals 14-3-8/13-45.
ST. JOHN’S (41)
Tara Vorst 0-0-0, Emilie Fischbach 2-0-6, Brooke Zuber 1-0-3, Rebekah Fischer 1-0-3, Katie Vorst 2-0-4, Erica Saine 4-0-8, Jessica Recker 5-3-17, Amanda Boberg 0-0-0, Sydney Fischbach 0-0-0. Totals 7-8-3/3-41.
Score by Quarters:
Coldwater 10 7 11 17 - 45
St. John’s 11 10 13 7 - 41
Three-point goals: Coldwater, Kanney 3; St. John’s, Recker 4, E. Fischbach 2, Zuber, Fischer.
Kiersten Siefring 0-2-2, Bridget Dues 2-0-4, Erica Sudhoff 4-1-9, Leah Homan 3-0-6, Emma Homan 2-0-4, Brooke Klosterman 1-0-2, Denise Schwieterman 3-3-9, Josie Luthman 0-1-1. Totals 15-0-7/20-37.
ST. JOHN’S (30)
Rachel Pohlman 6-3-16, Emilie Grothouse 1-0-2, Olivia Kahny 1-0-2, Maddie Pohlman 0-0-0, Ashlyn Troyer 0-0-0, Sam Kramer 1-0-2, Samantha Wehri 0-0-0, Colleen Schulte 2-2-8. Totals 8-3-5/6-30.
Score by Quarters:
Coldwater 6 3 13 15 - 37
St. John’s 6 11 7 6 - 30
Three-point goals: Coldwater, none; St. John’s, Schulte 2, R. Pohlman.