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Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Cardinals rally in the fourth for win

By Mark Ruschau
NEW BREMEN - The New Bremen Cardinals snapped a two-game losing streak Friday night as they rallied from a fourth-period deficit to defeat the Lehman Catholic Cavaliers 39-37 in nonleague action at Cardinal Gymnasium.
With the win, New Bremen improves to 4-2 on the campaign while Lehman, playing its first road game of the season falls to 4-3 with the loss.
Defense was the story of this game as Lehman used its quickness on the perimeter to slow down the New Bremen offense while the home team used its size advantage to alter many Cavalier shots and limited second-chance points.
"It was hard to get a shot off on either end tonight," said New Bremen head coach Mike Ernst. "It was physical game, there were unforced turnovers and those turnovers came because both teams were making the other team fight for everything they got.
"I told the kids that I thought last we did not compete in our game against St. Marys and I thought we competed tonight," continued Ernst. "It wasn't always pretty and we have a lot of things to work on, but at least we competed and we found a way to win."
After the lead switched hands in the early stages of the fourth quarter, Steineman gave his team the lead for good, 36-35 as he canned two free throws with 2:41 left in the contest. Steineman then came up with a huge defensive play picking off a pass and scoring a lay in to give his team a three-point lead at 38-35 with 2:12 left.
Lehman cut the lead back to one with 1:51 left on pair of Kevin Sergeant free throws. After New Bremen worked the clock down to 28 seconds, the Cardinals had to settle for a Matt McCollum free throw and a 39-37 lead.
On Lehman's next trip, Westerheide missed from three-point range with nine seconds left with Steineman grabbing the rebound.
Steineman missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with Westerheide grabbing the rebound. Westerheide dribbled the length of the court and launched a three-point attempt that was good but it was waved off as Lehman coach Mike Piatt called a timeout.
After the timeout, Westerhiede got a another great shot off that clanged off the back of the rim and fell away.
"The game turned into a real slugfest," continued Ernst. "It was hard to get a basket tonight. We were able to get a breakaway lay up and free throws in the fourth quarter. Scott Steineman came up with a steal and a basket there in the fourth quarter and that was huge because offense was so hard to come by."
"We had chances to win the game," said Lehman coach Mike Piatt. "We had a couple of good shots that did not fall and that is basketball. There at the end of the game, I called a timeout when that three-pointer went through and that's just what happens. At that time I didn't like the flow of the game and didn't look like we were going to get a good shot. As it turned out, we ended up getting a good look anyway so all you can do is move on from here."
Scott Schnelle led New Bremen with 12 points and he also added a team-high nine rebounds while Steineman added nine points and six rebounds.
Sargeant led Lehman in scoring with a game-high 15 points and he added a team-high nine rebounds.
New Bremen returns to action tonight traveling to Fort Loramie.
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