Saturday, December 1st, 2007
Redskins show off touch from long range
By Mark Ruschau
St. Henry's Jared Bender, left, and teammate Ryan Wehrkamp, middle, put pressure. . .
ST. MARYS - The St. Henry Redskins boys basketball team got a great shooting night and timely defense to defeat the St. Marys Roughriders, 64-45, in non-league action Friday night at McBroom Gymnasium.
St. Henry (3-0) hit 24-of-45 from the floor in the game, and was particularly hot from beyond the three-point arc sinking 10-of-16 from long range. The Redskins wore out the nets, and the St. Marys defense, in the second half hitting on 15-of-24 from the floor, including 7-of-8 from three-point range.
The Redskins showed balance in the scoring column, as senior guard Jared Schwieterman led all players for St. Henry in double figures, and eight players in the scoring column, with 16 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.
Brent Prenger added 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and Mitchell Niekamp added 11 points for the Redskins.
St. Henry also showed balance with its three-point shooting as seven different players knocked down at least one three-point shot.
As gaudy as the offensive numbers were by St. Henry, the key to this Grand Lake matchup was the defensive effort by the Redskins, especially in the second half.
For the game, St. Marys hit on 14-of-42 shots from the field, including just 6-of-19 from three-point range. After the intermission, St. Marys was able to hit on just 6-of-22 shots from the floor and 2-of-8 from three point-range.
Michael Schmitmeyer led the scoring attack for St. Marys with a game-high 19 points while Roughrider teammate Corey Menker added 10 points.
"I think the kids played pretty good defense the whole night through," commented St. Henry coach Joe Niekamp. "St. Marys did some nice things offensively, hitting threes and knocking down some to their credit, but I thought our defensive effort was there all night and I think we wore them down at the end."
"Quite honestly, I thought we got the shots that we wanted," said St. Marys second-year head coach Paul Sadler. "We just didn't shoot as high as percentage as we would have liked."
The momentum in this one swung toward the visitors early in the second half as St. Henry used a great defensive effort to key a 16-4 run over the final 6:45 of the third quarter to take a 42-33 lead after three periods.
Over that time span, St. Marys was held to a basket on the last trip of the period and two free throws as the Roughriders went just 1-of-7 from the field and turned the ball over three times.
Trailing 29-26, St. Henry tied the game on a three-point field goal by Tony Stahl. After a St. Marys miss, Prenger gave his team the lead for good as he hit a trey from the top of the key.
After a St. Marys timeout midway through the period, a pair of threes by Neil Schwieterman and a baseline jumper from Stahl gave the Redskins a 40-31 lead.
In the third period, St. Henry hit all five of its attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
"Offensively we had a few things going there in the second half," said coach Niekamp. "St. Marys plays good defense, but our kids did a much better job of playing with poise in the second half. We played stronger with the basketball in the second half because it was a physical game and that led to us being a lot more successful offensively in the second half.
"I thought we did a good job of getting out on their three-point shooters in the first half," said Sadler. "At halftime we talked about maintaining our defensive intensity because they have so many guys that shoot the basketball well and we had some breakdowns and St. Henry will make you pay with their great shooters.
"I thought offensively in the third quarter we let the game get away from us," continued Sadler. "I thought it was a very hard fought game, but we let the game go and it got ugly for us. In the fourth quarter, instead of making a run, we turned it over and gave up lay-ups and that was not the way we wanted it to end after such a hard fought game and that was the one thing that I was most disappointed about tonight."
St. Henry returns to action tonight as the Redskins travel to Mississinawa Valley for another nonleague encounter while St. Marys opens Western Buckeye League play next Friday night, hitting the road for the first time on the season and traveling to Lima to face the Bath Wildcats.