Friday, January 11th, 2008
By Mark Ruschau
Fourth quarter keys Fort Recovery win
St. Henry - The Fort Recovery Indians used a huge fourth quarter to rally and defeat the St. Henry Redskins, 52-46, in Midwest Athletic Conference play Thursday night at the St. Henry Middle School Gymnasium.
The win keeps Fort Recovery's conference title hopes alive as it improves to 4-1 in the MAC while also raising the overall mark to 8-3. St. Henry falls to 1-4 in the conference and 1-11 overall.
Trailing 37-35 entering the fourth quarter, Fort Recovery came out and scored the first 12 points of the period to take control of the game. In the period, the Indians connected on 7-of-14 shots, their best shooting period of the game to take control.
The Indians had offensive balance in the final period as six players scored. They also went inside-outside in the period as they scored 11 points from the perimeter and six from inside the paint
On the defensive end, Fort Recovery held St. Henry scoreless for 4:30 and without a field goal for 6:34. In the period, St. Henry hit on just 2-of-9 from the field and the Redskins turned the ball over seven times. Fort Recovery did a great defensive job in the final period on St. Henry center Brooke Mattingly as it held the 6-2 center to just three points in the final period, those coming with 2:21 left in the game.
"We started to trap a little more defensively in the halfcourt because we felt they could not handle pressure very well," said Fort Recovery coach Doug Bihn. "We came out in the fourth quarter and rebounded better. St. Henry is a good rebounding team and they hurt us early, but once we started rebounding, things started to go our way a little bit.
"It seems to happen that way, once you start to play defense better, the offense gets better," continued Bihn. "Anne Koesters came back in the fourth quarter after having foul trouble early. Although she only scored two points, I thought her play was big because it made them honest defensively in the middle and we were able to get some open looks."
While Bihn was pleased with the way his girls played in the fourth period, in the other lockeroom, veteran St. Henry coach Charlie Maier was scratching his head looking for answers.
"A lot of offensive problems in the fourth quarter were because of us more than their defense. We were tired mentally and physically and we started to make some silly passes that were not there and they got some pretty easy baskets," said Maier. "We were able to get their lead back to three but we were not able to finish. These kids need to take care of the ball better in close situations and tonight they did not do it. We do certain things in practice in these kind of situations and we did not carry those things over into the game tonight. Once these kids take what we do in practice and bring those into the game situations, then I think we will be able to end games and come out with a victory."
Fort Recovery tied the game with 6:35 left on a jumper from the top of the key from Kelsey Wuebker. After an empty St. Henry trip, Anne Koesters gave the Indians the lead for good as she stuck back the third shot of the possession.
After a couple of empty trips by both teams and a St. Henry timeout, Fort Recovery hit back-to-back threes from Kendra Brunswick and Joanna Snyder to build the lead to 47-37 with 4:00 minutes left.
St. Henry had one last run left as it outscored Fort Recovery 9-2 to close to within three, 49-46 on a three point field goal from Chelsea Mestemaker with 96 seconds left. Mestemakers basket was to be the last points for the Redskins as they turned the ball over twice and missed a shot on their last three possessions.
Both teams struggled offensively as St. Henry hit on 16-of-55 from the field and 9-of-19 from the free-throw line and turned the ball over 22 times. Mattingly led the Redskins with a game-high 23 points and she also grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds.
Fort Recovery connected on 21-of-51 from the field and 8-of-17 from the line while committing 17 miscues. Nicole Potkotter led the nine Indians in the scoring column with 13 points.
St. Henry is back in action on Saturday back at the Middle School against Lima Perry with a noon junior varsity tip. Fort Recovery is on the road again on Saturday traveling to Arcanum for a noon junior varsity tip.
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