Saturday, January 13th, 2007
Cavs pull away late for first MAC win
By Ryan Hines
COLDWATER - A strong defensive effort and a season-best night behind the three-point line helped Coldwater pick up its first Midwest Athletic Conference win of the season with a 50-39 triumph over Minster at The Palace on Friday night.
Minster struggled to find the shooting touch all night long, but trailed by just one point, 31-30, entering the fourth quarter. Coldwater then outscored the Wildcats 19-9 in the final stanza for an 11-point victory.
Coldwater is now 4-5 on the season and 1-2 in the MAC while Minster falls to 5-5 overall and 2-1 in league play. Minster's loss leaves New Knoxville (10-0, 3-0 MAC) as the lone team unbeaten in the MAC.
"The win is huge being it's our first league win of the year," said Coldwater head coach Mike Kanney. "I thought that we've been competitive in all of our games and it sure was nice to get one."
Minster head coach Mike Lee saw his team shoot just 26 percent from the field, including just 23 percent in the second half.
"I thought that we got some good looks, but we just couldn't hit them," said Lee. "It was a low-possession game where a six-point lead seemed like a 12- to 13-point lead.
"You're not going to win many varsity basketball games scoring in the 30s like we did tonight," added Lee.
Minster stayed in the game with its defense, actually holding a 32-31 lead early in the fourth quarter on a deuce by Logan Sommer. However, it was Coldwater hitting big shot after big shot down the stretch to pull away for the win.
Ryan Geier, Seth Kahle and Sam Slavik each hit big three-pointers in the final minutes of play before sealing the win with a six-of-seven showing at the free-throw line in the final 1:22.
"We felt good where we were at going into the fourth quarter down by one, but you have to give credit where credit is due. Coldwater just hit one big shot after another in the fourth quarter when the game was tight," said Lee. "We haven't seen them shoot the ball as well as they did tonight, but they hit shots and you just have to give them credit."
Coldwater hit a season-best 9-of-20 from behind the three-point line as five different Cavaliers were able to sink a long ball.
"Our kids are capable of doing that," said Kanney on the nine treys the Cavaliers hit. "We're starting to shoot the ball better as a team and that's encouraging to see. We got some good looks at the basket and the guys were able to hit them."
Geier, who also had 10 rebounds, and Slavik led Coldwater in scoring with 11 points apiece while Kahle added 10 points.
Minster's Zac Boeke, who had 12 points in the first half, led all scorers with a game-high 17 points while Sommer added 11 points. Evan Lee scored just two points but had a team-high 10 rebounds.
"It was nice to see us shoot the ball better, but this game was won on the defensive end of the floor," said Kanney. "We wanted to contest their threes, and as a whole, I think that we did that."
Coldwater is back in action again tonight on the road at Elida while Minster will host Fort Loramie.