Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
Pair of blowouts at Elida Fieldhouse
Coldwater and St. Henry advance to sectional finals
By Gary R. Rasberry
Coldwater's Kurt Riethman, left, and teammate Ryan Geier, 24, trap a Delphos Jef. . .
ELIDA - A pair of overwhelming wins highlighted the semifinals at the Division III sectional at the Elida Fieldhouse on Tuesday.
In the opener, St. Henry shrugged off a sluggish start and pulled away in the second half for a 56-34 win over Parkway.
In the nightcap, it was all Coldwater from the very start, holding Delphos Jefferson to just four field goals in the game en route to a 48-22 Cavaliers win.
Both teams will have tougher opponents on Friday. St. Henry squares off against top-seeded Lima Central Catholic in the opener at 6:15 p.m. The nightcap pits the Cavaliers against second-seed Spencerville. The winners move on to the Ohio Northern District next week.
St. Henry 56, Parkway 34
The Panthers, starting four sophomores in the lineup, held its own against the Redskins through the first 16 minutes as St. Henry wasn't as sharp as they were in the regular-season meeting when the Red and White hit 60 percent from the floor.
St. Henry stayed ahead of Parkway thanks to penetration from Zack Thobe, who scored a game-high 16, 10 coming in the first half. At the half, St. Henry led 31-20.
"Give Parkway a lot of credit. They're playing a lot of their young guys, lost two of their best athletes," said St. Henry coach Joe Niekamp. "They came out and competed. They did a lot of nice things."
"I thought we kept it close," said Parkway coach Doug Hughes. "We struggled to score. We have to be able to find some points to stay close. Our defense kept us close."
Things picked up big time in the second half for St. Henry as the Redskins used a 10-0 run to push their lead to 41-22. After shooting nearly 50 percent (9-of-19) in the first half, Parkway connected on just six of their 23 shot attempts in the second half.
"We just weren't able to put points on the board," said Hughes. "It's tough whenever you can get stops at one end and not put anything up on the other end."
St. Henry came through with a win despite a cool shooting night, making just 36.4 percent from the field in the game.
"We know we can knock some shots down," said coach Niekamp. "We didn't want to come out and shoot threes. We moved toward the basket and got to the foul line."
Josh Fisher paced Parkway with 14 points on 7-of-20 shooting - 0-of-9 from beyond the three-point line. Levon Archer added eight points.
Andy Puthoff added nine and Mitch Niekamp contributed eight to go with Thobe's night.
"It was a game where the intensity level wasn't too high," said coach Niekamp. "Obviously, the next game we play, the intensity level has to be high."
Coldwater 48, Delphos Jefferson 22
The coldness that Parkway suffered in the first game carried over in a big way for the JeffCats in game two.
Jefferson connected on just 4-of-32 field-goal attempts, a shooting percentage of just 12.5 percent.
"I thought our kids did a nice job coming out and guarding Delphos," said Coldwater coach Mike Kanney. "We got a nice lead and got to play some other kids."
Coldwater, on the other hand, had the hot hand from the get-go. Kurt Riethman nailed two three-pointers in the first quarter as Coldwater jumped out to a 18-4 lead. Coldwater then outscored Jefferson 17-3 in the second quarter to take a 35-7 lead at the half.
"The kids were pretty focused," said Kanney about playing Jefferson for the second time on the season. "I wasn't real concerned coming here. I thought we had a good week of practice. It was nice to come out and hit our first few shots, get a couple turnovers and get things rolling in our direction."
In the third quarter, Kanney cleared his bench to give the starters the night off.
Riethman was 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line to pace the Cavaliers with 16 points while Eric Lefeld scored seven.
Jordan Jettinghoff led the JeffCats with eight points.