Monday, December 21st, 2009
By Gary R. Rasberry
Coldwater boys open the season beating St. Marys
  ST. MARYS - For the first three quarters, Mike Kanney liked the way his Coldwater Cavaliers started the season and St. Marys coach Dan Hegemier liked the way his team played the fourth quarter.
Kanney ended up feeling a little better than Hegemier.
The Cavaliers finally opened their basketball season and got as much as a 20-point lead in the second half before the Roughriders made it interesting down the stretch. Coldwater went on to post a 53-46 win at McBroom Gymnasium on Saturday night, sending the Roughriders to an 0-4 start to the season.
From the start, the Cavaliers looked to get the ball inside to their post threats Eric Lefeld (6-8) and Tim Brunet (6-5). The pair scored the first six points for Coldwater and 10 of the team's 16 first-quarter points.
St. Marys scored on its first two possessions, but the Roughriders didn't score on its next four possessions and Cavaliers jumped to a 12-4 lead.
When St. Marys was able to slow down Lefeld and Brunet, Luke Grieshop stepped up and took some of the scoring load, getting eight of his team-high 15 points in the first half as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 30-17 halftime lead.
Coldwater continued to put the pressure on the Roughriders into the third quarter, getting the lead into the 20s by the end of the quarter, before leading 47-26 going into the final eight minutes.
"You never know (in) your first ballgame coming out," said Kanney. "I thought the kids did a good job moving their feet defensively. Offensively, we got the ball inside like we wanted. We really played a solid three quarters."
The fourth quarter, though, was a different story as Coldwater had turnover issues - committing seven of its 20 giveaways in the quarter - and scoring just six points.
That allowed St. Marys to whittle away at Coldwater's lead. Freshman Garrett Fledderjohann nailed a couple big shots and hit a few free throws and Derek Roop scored seven points in the quarter as the deficit was cut to six on a last-second shot by Fledderjohann.
"That fourth quarter, we just didn't finish," said Kanney. "I don't know if you can contribute that to our first game, maybe, and everybody got a little tired. Give St. Marys a lot of credit. I thought their kids kept playing hard and made some big shots down the stretch."
Hegemier was pleased with his team's play, noting it was a night-and-day difference from Friday's loss at Elida.
"Last night, I thought we battled at Elida, then at the end of the third and into the fourth, we just laid down and died," said Hegemier. "Tonight I said 'Just keep battling, keep battling, keep battling.' "
"I learned something about these guys. They just kept playing hard. Hopefully, that will give us some confidence to carry over," added Hegemier.
Keith Wenning added 14 points and seven boards for the Cavaliers, with Lefeld finishing with 10.
Fledderjohann paced all players with 17 points and Roop added 14.
Coldwater is off until Dec. 29 when the Cavaliers host the Mercer Health Holiday Classic at The Palace, facing Delphos Jefferson in the nightcap. The winner plays Dec. 30 against the Fort Recovery-Fort Loramie winner at 7:45 p.m. St. Marys returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to Auglaize County rival New Bremen.
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