|Cardinals spoil Lady Jays’ Senior Night|
|Thursday, February 13, 2014 9:25 PM|
DELPHOS — Four St. John’s senior girls basketball players played their final home games before an appreciative crowd at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.
Unfortunately for the quartet and their Blue Jay teammates, they couldn’t end their careers or the regular season on a winning note as they lost the fourth period 14-8 and thus the game 32-28 to New Bremen in Midwest Athletic Conference action.
Erica Saine led the Lady Blue Jays (6-16, 3-6 MAC) with 11 markers (3 treys), along with Brooke Zuber (1 point), Emilie Fischbach (5 caroms) and Amanda Boberg (2 boards, 1 assist).
Freshman Madilynn Schulte was out due to injury.
“That’s why this is so disappointing tonight, that we couldn’t send them out with a win,” Jays mentor Dan J. Grothouse lamented. “These four have given me total effort every day at practice and every game, even in this up and down season; the effort and attitude has been outstanding. As a coach, you cannot ask for anything more than that every day.”
New Bremen coach Chris Burden figured this game would come down to the end.
“It’s a typical MAC game with two defensive-minded teams; nothing was going to be easy and it was going to Be low-scoring,” he added. “In all honesty, we only had one foul in the second half until late, so we kept stressing to the girls to apply a lot of pressure; if they foul, they foul. I think we wore them down at the end with that pressure and forced them into some silly passes that we stole and turned into points.”
The Lady Jays led 20-18 to begin the fourth period, befitting a tough, hard-nosed defensive tussle. Rosie Westerbeck (12 markers, 4 boards, 3 steals) scored at 5:11 to knot the game and a triple from the key by Alyse Clune gave the Lady Cardinals (9-13, 2-7) their first lead since late in the first period. Saine answered her from just left of the key at 4:10 and hit another from nearly the same spot at 3:32 to give the Blue and Gold their last lead of 26-23. However, the dreaded drought that has plagued the hosts this year struck at the wrong time: they turned the ball over against the Cardinals’ full-court pressure on their next six possessions (9 for the period, 19 for the night). That allowed Westerbeck to hit a second-chance basket at 1:55 and then later off a half-court inbounds lob — from Karli Jones (3 assists) — at 1:20 to give the visitors the lead for good. The Jays were then forced to foul and the Cardinals netted 5-of-6 singles in the last 43.3 ticks (6-of-9 for the game for 66.7%) to take their largest lead of 32-26 with 4.7 ticks left. They themselves had fouls to give to make things tougher on the Jays. Saine hit the final home basket of her career to beat the buzzer.
“Bottom line; we had a chance to win but we didn’t close it out. We had too many turnovers, especially late in the game,” Grothouse added. “At least half of them were unforced, not against real pressure; they were simply poor decisions with the ball. You hold a team to 32 points, you think you will win. We did have some defensive breakdowns late but if you’re scoring, you can get away with that. When you’re not, they get magnified and they are costly.”
The defenses ruled the game from the start as neither shot well: St. John’s was 11-of-35 (3-of-14 beyond the arc) and New Bremen 12-of-36 (2-of-6 3-pointers) for 33.3 percent.
They combined for 6-of-21 in the first period. Zuber scored her only tally at 7:20 and Saine her first triple at the 4-minute mark. New Bremen’s top scorer, Debbie Paul (13 markers, 8 caroms), popped off the bench and scored three straight baskets, including a lob at 2:25, to take a 6-4 edge. Sophomore Sydney Fischbach (10 counters, 9 boards, 4 thefts, 2 assists) tied it at at 52 ticks and sophomore Lexie Hays hit an 18-footer on the right side at 8.1 ticks to give the hosts an 8-6 edge.
There were two early ties in the second period but then the Jays retook the lead for the half on a single by Sydney Fischbach. She netted a deuce and another free throw in the next two minutes and junior Tara Vorst a drive at 3:45 for the biggest Lady Jay lead of 16-10. However, the only score the rest of the half was a trifecta on the left wing by Westerbeck at 32 ticks for a 16-13 halftime scoreboard, Jays.
The offenses slowed down even more in the third: the only two scores for the hosts were by Sydney Fischbach (6:33 and 3:22). Clune (3 steals, 6 rebounds) answered with a deuce and Westerbeck three points, including a drive at 2:58, to make for a 20-18 score at the end of three on behalf of the Jays.
In sum, New Bremen totaled 23 boards (5 offensive), 18 turnovers and a mere nine fouls.
The Jays finished at 3-of-8 foul shooting (37.5%), with 26 rebounds (7 offensive) and 12 fouls.
In two quarters of junior varsity action, the Jays grabbed a 16-11 decision.
Freshman Brooke Richardson led the victors with six.
Amanda Brown and Jenna Broerman netted four each for Bremen.
The Jays open Division IV sectional action 7 p.m. Tuesday at Van Wert versus Lincolnview.
New Bremen commences 6:15 p.m. Wednesday versus Marion Local at Coldwater.
NEW BREMEN (32)
Alyse Clune 1-0-3, Karli Jones 1-0-2, Rosie Westerbeck 4-3-12, Janelle Elking 0-0-0, Melissa Thieman 0-2-2, Debbie Paul 6-1-13, Kim Brown 0-0-0. Totals 10-2-6/9-32.
ST. JOHN’S (28)
Tara Vorst 1-0-2, Rebekah Fischer 0-0-0, Emilie Fischbach 0-0-0, Brooke Zuber 0-1-1, Rachel Pohlman 0-0-0, Erica Saine 4-0-11, Amanda Boberg 0-0-0, Halie Benavidez 0-0-0, Jessica Geise 0-0-0, Lexie Hays 2-0-4, Sydney Fischbach 4-2-10. Totals 8-3-3/8-28.
Score by Quarters:
New Bremen 6 7 5 14 - 32
St. John’s 8 8 4 8 - 32
Three-point goals: New Bremen, Clune, Westerbeck; St. John’s, Saine 3.
NEW BREMEN (11)
Ali Howell 0-1-1, Sara Steineman 0-0-0, Debbie Paul 0-0-0, Brianna Arling 1-0-2, Amanda Brown 2-0-4, Jenna Broerman 2-0-4. Totals 5-0-1/4-11.
ST. JOHN’S (16)
Brooke Richardson 3-0-6, Emilie Grothouse 1-0-3, Maddy Jettinghoff 1-0-2, Maddie Pohlman 0-0-0, Lauren Ladd 0-0-0, Sam Kramer 1-1-3, Samantha Wehri 0-0-0, Colleen Schulte 1-0-2. Totals 6-1-1/2-16.
Score by Quarters:
New Bremen 7 4 - 11
St. John’s 8 8 - 16
Three-point goals: New Bremen, none; St. John’s, Grothouse.