Saturday, January 6th, 2007
Big night by Celina's Muhlenkamp not enough
By Ryan Hines
VAN WERT - A career night for Andy Muhlenkamp wasn't enough for Celina on the road against undefeated Van Wert in the Cougars' new gym.
The Cougars kept their perfect record intact after drubbing the Bulldogs 60-42 on Friday night in Western Buckeye League play.
"We never felt over threatened after the first quarter, but they (Celina) were always hanging around and made us play hard until the end," said Van Wert head coach Dave Froelich.
Van Wert is now 8-0 overall and 2-0 in the WBL while Celina slips to 2-6 on the season and 1-1 in league play.
The Cougars had nine different players dent the scoring column and the Van Wert balance won out over the career night by Muhlenkamp.
Muhlenkamp, a 6-5 senior for the Bulldogs, scored a career-best and game-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and had a four-of-five mark at the free-throw line. The rest of the Celina roster shot just 9-of-29 from the floor (31 percent) in the game.
Celina's big man impressed Froelich.
"He did a good job out there and he earned every one of those points he scored," said Froelich about Muhlenkamp. "We thought that we knew his tendencies and we also tried to bring some help, but he beat us consistently in the post. I'm glad that he didn't get that big night and they won the game."
The 20-point night was the type of performance that Celina head coach Chris Bihn has been waiting for out of his lanky senior center.
"Andy played really well and that's they type of play that we've been waiting to get out of him for quite awhile now," said Bihn. "He finally got aggressive on offense and got after it on the offensive end."
Muhlenkamp didn't get much support from his Bulldog teammates in the scoring department as no other Celina player scored more than five points.
"We couldn't get anyone to score consistently other than Andy tonight," said Bihn. "We needed another offensive threat to help open up the offense. We got good looks on offense, but we missed a lot of layups and that helped them get out to a big lead. You can't miss as many layups as we missed and expect to beat a good team like Van Wert."
Jared Myers and Chris Morrow led Van Wert with 18 and 15 points, respectively, and Froelich was happy with the balance that his team showed.
"We think that we have enough balance on the team to withstand some foul trouble like we had tonight with Morrow and we must continue to get balance as we continue to improve this season," said Froelich. "We're good when we score off of passes, but when we have to create our own shots, we aren't so good. So we have a lot to work on to get better and we'll continue to work on those things."
The Bulldogs are right back in action again tonight hosting Toledo Rogers at the Fieldhouse with the Celina Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony coming b etween the varsity and jayvee contests.