|Third period keys Rangers over Jays|
|Friday, January 18, 2013 1:43 PM|
Unfortunately, they had dug themselves too big a hole to overcome the Lady Rangers’ 19-7 bulge in the third period en route to a 48-41 victory.
The senior-less and extremely young Rangers (3 juniors, 4 sophomores, 4 freshmen) led 17-14 at the half but clicked on both ends of the floor in the third canto. They shot 8-of-12 from the field (19-of-34 for the game, 2-of-7 from deep, for 55.9%) running their half-court set well, getting a number of layins. Junior Page Lehman (10 points, 5 boards) got hot, shaking loose from the Lady Jay (6-7, 1-4 MAC) man-to-man defense for eight points in leading the way. As well, Knoxville (10-3, 4-1 MAC) used its solid man defense (with a bit of 2-3 zone mixed in) to hold the Blue and Gold to 3-of-8 shooting (14-of-40 overall, 5-of-20 long range, for 35%). When sophomore Meg Reineke (16 counters) laid in a bucket with 40 ticks left, the visitors led 36-21.
“We lost the intensity we had defensively from the first half. New Knoxville stepped their game up and we didn’t,” Jays mentor Dan J. Grothouse explained. “I thought we did a good job on Lehman and (Haley) Horstman overall — holding them to 10 points each was a good effort — but we let Lehman get away from us. Offensively, we struggled with our confidence with the ball. We weren’t getting any offensive rebounds and they were just more aggressive.”
New Knoxville seemed on the verge of coasting to the double-digit win, leading 41-26 on a Reineke basket with 4:50 left in the contest. Back came the Jays. Sophomore Rebekah Fischer (8 markers) hit a 3-ball at 4:24 and that seemed to spark the hosts. With senior Jessica Recker (game-high 23 points, including 3 bombs, 4 assists) going off for 11 points in the period, they got within six points three times, the last on her two tosses with 20.5 ticks remaining. However, it was too little, too late.
“We played six minutes of excellent basketball in the third period. That’s what I told the girls; we played excellent ball in that stretch and got the win,” New Knoxville coach Tim Hegemier said. “We really ran our offense well and got some great looks that we put in. We did a nice job defensively as well. We’ve got a lot of young girls out there and we’ve had some injuries; we got the win and that’s what matters.”
New Knoxville had the answer in the second quarter: the junior Horstman (10 points, 5 assists, 5 boards, 3 steals); she scored six counters in the canto. When Reineke got a second-chance bucket at 3:36, it gave the Lady Rangers the lead for good at 13-12. A Horstman transition drive at 1:04 gave them a 17-12 margin but Recker’s mid-lane basket from the right side with 20 ticks on the clock made it 17-14, New Knoxville, at the half.
“In the fourth period, we just seemed to have more urgency. Rebekah hit a 3 and all of a sudden, we got rolling,” Grothouse added. “We had just dug ourselves too deep of a hole. We have struggled with our confidence shooting and handling the ball lately, so it was good to see that happen.”
In toto, New Knoxville finished 8-of-13 at the line (61.5%); nabbed 25 caroms (6 offensive); and amassed 11 errors and 12 fouls. They host Jackson Center Saturday.
St. John’s totaled 8-of-11 freebies (72.7%); 23 rebounds (10 offensive) as senior Katie Vorst had six and freshman Sydney Fischbach added five; and compiled 11 miscues and 17 fouls. They visit Crestview 6 p.m. Saturday.