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Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Cardinals rally in the fourth quarter for win

By Mark Ruschau

Parkway's Zach Bates, with ball, jumps over New Bremen's Scott Lammers, 40, for. . .

NEW BREMEN - The New Bremen Cardinals did the things they needed to do, like hitting free throws and playing defense, to rally from a fourth-quarter deficit and capture a 52-48 Midwest Athletic Conference win over the Parkway Panthers on Friday night at New Bremen High School.
With the win, New Bremen improves to 12-7 overall and 5-3 in the conference while Parkway falls to 13-6 on the season and 3-5 in the MAC.
On the night, New Bremen hit on just 22-of-51 from the floor, but they turned the ball over just 11 times. The Cardinals did their damage at the free-throw line as they hit 13-of-16, including seven-of-eight in the deciding fourth quarter.
On the other end of the floor, Parkway struggled all night shooting the basketball hitting on just 18-of-44 shots from the floor and just three of 15 from the free-throw line.
"I thought we played well enough defensively tonight," said New Bremen coach Mike Ernst. "We also were able to shoot well from the free-throw line and grab enough rebounds to get a good win over a good team that is going to be a tough out for any team that they play in the tournament."
"What this game really boiled down to was that we went 3-for-15 from the free-throw line," commented Parkway coach Doug Hughes. "I never thought that we would ever shoot that poorly from the free-throw line."
Parkway took a 38-36 lead into the final period as Josh Fisher canned a three-pointer at the buzzer. Fisher's trey was also significant in that, with those three points, the senior guard scored his 1,135th point to break the school scoring record set by Greg Morrison from 1971 to 1974.
The Panthers held onto the lead until the 5:55 mark of the fourth period when New Bremen retook the advantage, 43-42 on a Caleb Williams three-pointer.
After a Parkway timeout, the Panthers retook the lead, 46-43 with 3:23 left in the game, on field goals from Fisher and Craig Bills.
After a Justin Eilerman basket inside made the score 46-45, Dillon Long took a pass inside from Logan Hunter for a score to make it 48-45 with 2:32 left. The Hunter basket were the last points of the night for Parkway as the Panthers went scoreless on the next six trips, missing their last five shots, one free throw and turned the ball over three times.
After a Spencer Rohr free throw made the score 48-46 with 2:11 left, the Cardinals tied the game on a basket inside from Eilerman with 1:55 left. After Hunter missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity at the free-throw line with 1:38 left, Eilerman gave New Bremen the advantage for good on two free throws with a minute left.
After a Parkway timeout, Lammers came up with a big play defensively as he took a charge from Fisher with 36 seconds left. Rohr sealed the deal for the home team as he hit two free throws with 29 seconds left for the final points of the game.
"I did not feel very good with two minutes left in the game with the way the game was going there in the fourth quarter," said Ernst. "Justin Eilerman got a big basket for us inside and we hit some free throws and played some solid defense at the end of the game."
"One thing that hurt us at the end was our clock management and knowing the time and game situation," said Hughes. "We got the ball into Fisher's hands, the way we wanted to, but they drew two big offensive fouls on him late and that is to their credit."
Eilerman led the way for New Bremen with a game-high 22 points and he also grabbed 13 rebounds. Williams added 12 points and Rohr chipped in 10.
Long and Fisher scored 14 points each to lead Parkway.
New Bremen end its regular season next Friday on the road at Fort Recovery in conference play while Parkway is back in action on Monday night playing host to Minster in a makeup conference game.
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