Friday, December 4th, 2009
Wildkittens dominate down the stretch
By Gary R. Rasberry
Coldwater's Katie Lefel, 15, pulls up for a jumper in front of a Bath defender d. . .
COLDWATER - Things looked right for Coldwater to pick up its first win.
The Lady Cavaliers went on an 11-0 run to end the first half taking a 28-22 lead on Bath, then raised the lead to 41-28 with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
It was at that point when things swung wildly back Bath's way.
The Wildkittens outscored Coldwater 25-4 the final 10 1/2 minutes of the game to keep the Cavaliers winless on the young season with a 53-45 win at The Palace on Thursday night.
Bath improves to 2-1 with the win as Coldwater drops to 0-2.
The Wildkittens dominated the opening and closing portions of the game. The opening surge came thanks to six-foot freshman Emily Ruhe, who scored the first 12 points of the game as the Wildkittens were able to lob it to her inside. Ruhe was 6-of-7 from the field in the first quarter.
"Emily is a real nice player for being a young kid," said Bath coach Greg Mauk. "For being 14-years-old, she's pretty doggone good. To the credit of our kids, Emily had a lot of points, but those points don't happen unless the kids are strong with the ball and find her on time. They did today."
"We did a poor job in the first quarter and part of the second of having any back-side help," said Coldwater coach Nick Fisher. "She's a load in there, especially for a young kid. I thought we did a good job adjusting. We went to the zone to slow her down."
Once Coldwater was able to slow down Ruhe a bit, the Cavaliers began to rally, tying Bath at the quarter mark on Rachel Geier's three-pointer near the buzzer. In the second quarter, Bath was up 22-17 when Coldwater took over the final 3:34 of the second quarter. Katie Lefeld scored six big points, including a layup at the buzzer that capped the streak and put the Cavaliers up six at the half. Lefeld had eight points in the half with Janae Muhlenkamp getting six on a pair of three-pointers, including a big one with six seconds left in the half.
Bath chipped a little at the deficit early in the third quarter, but Coldwater snapped back with buckets from Veronica Bruns, Bethany Werling and Kara Uhlenhake to push the lead to 13 points with 2:32 left in the third period.
That was when the Wildkittens began their push, thanks in part to turnovers by Coldwater. After turning the ball over just three times in the first half, Coldwater had seven turnovers in the third quarter and eight more in the fourth.
"We tried to do some substitutions to get some people some rest. I think it took us out of the flow a little bit," said Fisher. "We lost that flow. They picked it up."
Bath got to within six at 43-37 to end the third quarter, then a Ruhe bucket and Jessica Johns free throw cut it to three. Alyssa Brandon tied the game with 4:49 to go, getting the hoop-and-harm for the three-point play to tie things at 43-all.
After a trading of turnovers, Liz Brock hit a three-pointer with 4:03 left to give Bath its first lead since the second quarter. Coldwater lost the ball on a jump ball, with Ruhe pushing the lead to five with a bunny. Brock put the dagger in with 2:29 to go with her second trey of the quarter.
"I thought the difference was we were able to, defensively, get them in some situations where they were sloppy with the ball as we were early in the game," said Mauk. "Some of those extra possessions we were able to capitalize on.
"We told the kids the effort was there, it's just our mental aspect in the closing moments," said Fisher. "Our schedule is brutal and we're going to be in a lot of games like this."
Ruhe was 13-of-15 from the field for 26 points and Brock hit all three of her three-point tries and added 11 points.
Janae Muhlenkamp, Richelle Muhlenkamp, Katie Lefeld and Rachel Geier each had eight points for Coldwater. Uhlenhake added seven points and eight rebounds.
Coldwater opens Midwest Athletic Conference play next Thursday hosting St. John's at The Palace.