|LadyCats stymie Jays in hardwood action|
|Thursday, December 19, 2013 9:11 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
That struggle continued Thursday night against the rugged defense of Kalida, to the tune of 20.5-percent shooting on 8-of-39 from the floor (1-of-12 downtown) — in a dismal 37-22 non-league loss at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.
The high scorer for the Blue Jays (3-4) was junior Rebekah Fischer with six against the Kalida full-court pressure — in whatever form it took — and half-court man-to-man.
“When you have almost as many turnovers (21) as you do points, that is not a good place to be going. We aren’t getting enough attempts at the basket because of poor decision-making with the ball,” Jays’ mentor Dan J. Grothouse lamented. “Until we can get over that — where we just go out and play basketball and not worry about everything — this will continue.”
The LadyCats shot a more comfortable 12-of-26 from the field — 1-of-3 3-balls — for 46.2 percent.
However, it was the defense that head man Adam Huber and his coaching staff cited as the reason for the victory.
“I was disappointed with our overall defensive effort against Columbus Grove Tuesday. We played hard but we didn’t do the little things, like hit the floor for loose balls and box out,” Huber explained. “We did all those things tonight from the opening tap. We knew St. John’s would come in and play with great effort and we had to match their intensity; we did.”
Both teams struggled at the offensive end in the first period: the LadyCats (4-3) with turnovers — seven of their game total of 26 — as they hit 4-of-6 shots and the Jays were 3-of-10 shooting. There was two changes of the lead late in the canto: at 18 ticks when junior Tara Vorst hit a 5-foot pull-up for the hosts’ first — and only — lead at 9-8 and when sophomore Brittany Kahle (13 points, 5 caroms, 5 thefts) drove for a deuce with 4.1 ticks on the board for a 10-9 edge.
Sophomore Allison Recker and Fischer traded baskets to start the second period — Fischer’s short jumper at 7:07 — and those were the last points by the hosts in the canto until a putback by senior Erica Saine beat the buzzer. Not only did the Jays’ shooting eye get dimmer — 2-of-11 — but they also turned it over seven times (21 total). In the meantime, sophomore Kylie Osterhage (8 markers, 8 boards) hit 6-of-6 from the free-throw line and Kahle added five points to build a 25-11 bulge before Saine’s last-second basket accounted for a 25-13 halftime scoreboard.
The Jays switched to a 3-2 zone defense in the third period and that slowed down the LadyCats, giving up only five points, forcing six errors and limiting them to 2-of-7 shooting. Unfortunately for the home team, they couldn’t answer, compiling 2-of-6 shooting and eight turnovers. After leading by as much as 15 — 28-13 on an Osterhage single — the Maroon and White took a 30-17 spread on a drive down the lane by Kahle with 12 seconds on the clock.
If the hosts had any hope of making a stirring comeback, they had to heat up in a hurry in the fourth. Missing their first six shots and adding two more miscues made that moot. The visitors were leading 36-17 on two free shots by sophomore Joni Kaufman (4 steals) at 2:44 when the Jays finally scored on a steal and layin by birthday girl Fischer (17th) at 2:08. The Jays finished 1-of-12 from the floor in the finale, despite forcing eight errors, as they finished out the 15-point loss.
“When you only give up 37 points, you expect to win,” Grothouse added. “I don’t know what else to say but we have to find the confidence to put the ball in the basket. We need to come out with intensity and aggressiveness from the start.”
Kalida nailed 12-of-20 at the line (60%); secured 32 off the glass (10 offensive); and totaled 13 fouls.
“We are a work in progress offensively. We struggled with turnovers; even up by 14 in the fourth, we were in too much of a hurry,” Huber added. “Credit St. John’s and their defense for some of that but a lot of our mistakes were unforced, like passing the ball to the wrong hand. We know we aren’t the best shooting team; we showed that when they went zone in the second half.”
St. John’s added 5-of-7 at the stripe (71.4%); 18 boards (9 offensive) as Saine and freshman Jessica Geise nabbed three each; and 17 fouls.
In junior varsity action, the Jays improved to 7-0 by holding off the LadyCats (3-3) 31-30.
Guiding the victors were junior Halie Benavidez with 12 and classmate Emilee Grothouse with 11 (3 treys).
For the visitors, sophomore Laine Laudick led with eight.
Kalida hosts Crestview at 1 p.m. (JV start) Saturday.
The Jays entertain Bath Monday.
Nicole Recker 1-0-2, Makenna Vorst 0-0-0, Brittany Kahle 5-2-13, Nicole Reindel 0-0-0, Kennedy Hoffman 0-0-0, Joni Kaufman 1-2-4, Kylie Osterhage 0-8-8, Elizabeth Turnwald 4-0-8, Katelyn Siebeneck 0-0-0, Allison Recker 1-0-2, Laine Laudick 0-0-0, Cathy Basinger 0-0-0. Totals 11-1-12/20-37.
ST. JOHN’S (22)
Tara Vorst 1-1-3, Rebekah Fischer 3-0-6, Emilie Fischbach 1-0-3, Brooke Zuber 1-0-2, Rachel Pohlman 0-0-0, Erica Saine 1-0-2, Amanda Boberg 0-0-0, Jessica Geise 0-2-2, Lexie Hays 1-0-2, Sydney Fischbach 0-2-2. Totals 7-1-5/7-22.
Score by Quarters:
Kalida 10 15 5 7 - 37
St. John’s 9 4 4 5 - 22
Three-point goals: Kalida, Kahle; St. John’s, E. Fischbach.
Brooke Kimball 1-1-3, Morgan Knapke 1-1-3, Hannah Kahle 0-0-0, Joni Kaufman 0-0-0, Katelyn Siebeneck 2-2-6, Allison Recker 1-2-4, Laine Laudick 3-1-8, Cathy Basinger 2-2-6. Totals 9-1-9/12-30.
ST. JOHN’S (31)
Brooke Richardson 0-0-0, Madilynn Schulte 2-0-6, Emilie Grothouse 4-0-11, Lauren Ladd 0-0-0, Halie Benavidez 6-0-12, Sam Kramer 0-0-0, Samantha Wehri 0-0-0, Colleen Schulte 1-0-2. Totals 8-5-0/3-31.
Score by Quarters:
Kalida 4 8 12 6 - 30
St. John’s 14 8 7 2 - 31
Three-point goals: Kalida, Laudick; St. John’s, Grothouse 3, M. Schulte 2,