|Lady Jays come up short in season-opener|
|Monday, November 26, 2012 12:13 PM|
BATH TOWNSHIP — St. John’s came up short against New Knoxville Friday night in the opener of the annual Bath Kewpee Tip-Off Classic at “The Bathtub” of Bath High School.
The Lady Rangers edged out the Lady Blue Jays 37-34.
The third quarter was the difference in the ball game between the two Midwest Athletic Conference combatants, though this was a non-league affair. The score from the first half was 20-all. The Lady Rangers struck first 46 seconds into the half with pair of foul shots from Rachel Leffel. Katie Vorst answered for the Jays with a pair of her own foul shots with 5:22 left in the quarter. New Knoxville’s Paige Lehman nailed a layup at the 3:34 mark and that 2-point edge stood until only 25 seconds remained in the quarter as Meg Reineke slid in for a layup, putting the Lady Rangers up by 26-22. The Jays closed out the quarter with Jessica Recker hitting the front end of two from the charity stripe for a 26-23 New Knoxville lead.
This was the lowest scoring quarter in the game but the three points that the Rangers gained on the Jays was the difference in the end.
“New Knoxville increased their pressure in the third quarter,” St. John’s coach Dan Grothouse opined. “We were not able to get into the same starting position as in the first and second quarters. They put more pressure on our guards.”
The fourth quarter started out looking good for the Jays. Recker knocked out a 3-pointer from the right wing to get things started, tying the game 54 seconds into the quarter. Erica Saine put her two points worth in from the foul line to put the Jays up by two. Lady Ranger Haley Horstman hit a 3-point shot from the left wing to give Knoxville a 1-point edge. Tara Vorst got her two points in on the night with 4:55 left to put the Jays back up for the final time of the night, 30-29. The best they could do from there was tie but the Lady Rangers kept the carrot just out in front the rest of the game. Katie Vorst got the last points of the night for the Jays from the charity stripe, connecting on both shots and pulling the Jays within one with 31.8 seconds left.
The Jays had to foul to get back in the game but since they were stingy on fouls in the second half, they had to foul three times to put New Knoxville at the foul line with 4.7 seconds left. Horstman sank both ends of the bonus to give her 20 points on the night and the 3-point lead for the Rangers. St. John’s had a chance to tie it up but had to go the full length and hit a 3-point shot for this to happen. They fell short, turning the ball back to the Rangers to end the game.
“We are a young team and I knew it would be a little bit of trouble but you have to give St. John’s credit with a good game plan,” New Knoxville Coach Tim Hegemier relayed.
The first quarter looked like the Jays might just pull slowly away from the Rangers on the night. They took the lead and kept it the whole quarter. The Jays even got up by six points at 2:54 with the score 13-7. New Knoxville started to chip away and pulled to within two points at the end of the quarter, 15-13.
“We are not real confident yet with the ball in our hands,” Grothouse added. “We are still learning and growing as a team. We did play good defense and just have to get better on the offensive end.”
The second quarter saw the Jays hold on to their lead, only allowing two ties, until 1:50 was left in the half. Horstman once again came through for the Rangers, hitting one of her three 3-point shots to take the lead for the first time at 20-19. The Jays’ Rebekah Fischer tied it, getting her only point on the night from the free-throw line with 42.2 seconds left before heading to the locker room at 20-all.
“Haley is just to good of a player not to shoot,” Hegemier added. “I asked her in the third quarter how many shots have you taken and she said zero. I said you have to shoot the ball.”
St. John’s opens 0-1 and will play Elida 6 p.m. tonight in the consolation bracket. New Knoxville (1-0) will play Bath in the finals at 7:30 p.m.
New Knoxville (37)
Haley Horstman 7-3-20, Rachel Leffel 1-4-6, Paige Lehman 3-0-6, Meg Reineke 2-0-5, Kalyn Schroer 0-0-0, Abi Lageman 0-0-0, Madison Lammers 0-0-0. Totals 9-4-7-37.
St. John’s (34)
Katie Vorst 3-5-11, Jessica Recker 3-2-9, Erica Saine 2-2-6, Emilie Fischbach 1-0-3, Tara Vorst 1-0-2, Brooke Zuber 1-0-2, Rebekah Fischer 0-1-1, Sydney Fischbach 0-0-0. Totals 9-2-10-34.
Score by Quarters:
New Knoxville 13 7 6 11 - 37
St. John’s 15 5 3 11 - 34
Three-pointers: New Knoxville, Horstman 3, Reineke; St. John’s, Emilie Fischbach, Recker.