|Disastrous last 12 minutes dooms Lady Jays|
|Thursday, January 16, 2014 9:33 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
NEW KNOXVILLE — St. John’s played New Knoxville on even terms for the first 20 minutes of their Midwest Athletic Conference girls basketball encounter Thursday night inside ”The Little City” of Ranger Gymnasium.
It all fell apart after that for the visiting Lady Blue Jays, who managed just two points the rest of the way in succumbing 59-35 to the Lady Rangers.
The Blue Jays (4-9, 2-2 MAC) led 26-25 after the first half and the first four minutes of the third period saw two lead changes, with the Jays taking a 33-32 lead on a deuce by junior Tara Vorst. However, that was the last made field goal for the Blue and Gold the rest of the evening, missing their last 11 attempts from the floor, and added seven of the game total of 16 turnovers in that same span. When the Rangers (7-4, 1-2) got a putback from Paige Lehman (17 markers) at the 3:25 mark, they led 34-33 and never trailed again. Lehman scored two more baskets at 1:23 and 34 seconds before the Jays scored their last points of the night — two singles by sophomore Lexi Hays at the 16.6-second mark — to make it 38-35, Knoxville, before Kenzie Schroer drove to the glass for two with 6.1 ticks left and a 40-35 margin.
Haley Horstman (12 markers, 5 thefts, 4 assists) scored for the Rangers just seven ticks into the finale and after that, the Rangers began to start running their offense out higher on the floor, spreading out the Jays and looking for back-door cuts and making the guests chase. The Jays simply couldn’t buy a basket, going 0-for-8 from the floor. The Rangers finished out a strong shooting night (24-of-45 from the field, 2-of-8 from 3-land, for 53.3%) by going 6-of-9 from the field, as well as 7-of-9 at the line (9-of-12 overall for 75%) to clinch the deal.
“Give credit to New Knoxville; they upped their defensive intensity and the plays we were making before then stopped,” Jays’ coach Dan J. Grothouse explained. “Where before, we were beating them to a spot and making that cut hard, New Knoxville stepped it up and all of a sudden, we weren’t beating them to that spot. We started to rush things with our passes — we were going way too fast — and once you start struggling on offense like that, it’s hard to keep it up at the other end.”
Ranger head man Tim Hegemier agreed.
“All we really did was pick up our defensive effort. We did change defenses a little because St. John’s was on fire the first half but mainly, we just upped our effort on the defensive end,” Hegemier added. “Haley and Paige are our seniors and both have been on varsity four years; it’s what you expect out of your seniors and they led the way for us.”
The Jays struggled in the early going, allowing the hosts to move out to a 7-1 lead by midway through. A 3-ball by senior Emilie Fischbach (12 points, all on treys) and another by classmate Madison Zuber brought the Jays within 8-7 at the 2:30 mark. However, the Rangers finished off the period on a 9-2 run — sophomore Sydney Fischbach (13 counters) scoring the only bucket for the guests — and took a 17-9 edge on a layin by Lehman with 22 ticks on the clock.
The Rangers shot 7-of-16 from the field in the stanza, partly due to six offensive rebounds.
The Jays caught fire the second period behind three bombs from Emilie Fischbach and four deuces from Sydney Fischbach. They had their best quarter of the night by far, shooting 7-of-8 from the floor, and beginning to limit New Knoxville’s offensive rebounding. They slowly chipped away at their deficit and when Sydney Fischbach (3 assists, 4 boards) took an in-bounds feed under the basket by Emilie Fischbach (3 dimes) with 52 ticks left, the Jays had their first lead of 26-25.
“The first half — really, the first 20 minutes or so — we played New Knoxville as well as we could; that’s a pretty good basketball team,” Grothouse added. “We were making good cuts, we were making crisp passes, we had good spacing. We simply couldn’t maintain it for 32 minutes but we are getting better. That’s all we’re focusing on right now is getting better and doing it for longer periods of time.”
The Jays finished 13-of-31 shooting (6-of-16 behind the arc) for 41.9 percent and 3-of-4 at the line (75%). They grabbed 19 rebounds (3 offensive) as senior Amanda Boberg had three and added 13 fouls.
New Knoxville attracted 23 caroms (8 offensive) as Meg Reineke (15 counters) had five; and compiled four turnovers and a mere seven fouls.
In junior varsity play, the Rangers grabbed a 33-26 win.
Leading the Rangers was Ashlyn Miller and Abi Lageman with eight each.
The reconfigured Blue Jays (9-4, 2-2), minus moved-up players Halie Benavidez and Madilynn Schulte, received 14 from junior Colleen Schulte (4 treys).
The Jays visit Crestview Saturday for a doubleheader: the JVs start at 3 p.m. and the varsity at 6 p.m., with the boys JV at 4:30 p.m. and the varsity at 7:30 p.m.
New Knoxville is in the Pickerington Central Showcase 2 p.m. Sunday against Miami Trace.
ST. JOHN’S (35)
Tara Vorst 2-0-5, Emilie Fischbach 4-0-12, Brooke Zuber 1-0-3, Madilynn Schulte 0-0-0, Rachel Pohlman 0-0-0, Erica Saine 0-0-0, Amanda Boberg 0-0-0, Halie Benavidez 0-0-0, Jessica Geise 0-0-0, Lexie Hays 0-2-2, Sydney Fischbach 6-1-13. Totals 7-6-3/4-35.
NEW KNOXVILLE (59)
Haley Horstman 5-1-12, Kenzie Schroeer 2-1-5, Kalyn Schroer 0-0-0, Caitlin Magto 0-3-3, Meg Reineke 6-2-15, Abi Lageman 0-0-0, Madison Lammers 2-0-4, Rachell Leffel 1-1-3, Paige Lehman 8-1-17, Jenna Schwieterman 0-0-0, Ashlyn Miller 0-0-0. Totals 22-2-9/12-59.
Score by Quarters:
St. John’s 9 17 9 0 - 35
New Knoxville 17 8 15 19 - 59
Three-point goals: St. John’s, E. Fischbach 4, Vorst, Zuber; New Knoxville, Horstman, Reineke.
ST. JOHN’S (26)
Brooke Richardson 1-0-2, Emilie Grothouse 0-0-0, Lauren Ladd 0-0-0, Sam Kramer 3-0-6, Samantha Wehri 2-0-4, Colleen Schulte 5-0-14. Totals 7-4-0-26.
NEW KNOXVILLE (33)
Kenzie Schroer 1-0-2, Jenna Schwieterman 2-1-5, Ashlyn Miller 2-2-8, Jadyn Lauth 0-0-0, Abi Lageman 2-4-8, Brianna Jurosic 1-1-3, Rachel Leffel 1-0-2, Caitlin Magoto 1-2-5. Totals 7-3-10-33.
Score by Quarters:
St. John’s 9 2 9 6 - 26
New Knoxville 6 6 8 11 - 33
Three-point goals: St. John’s, C. Schulte 4; New Knoxville, Miller 2, Magoto.