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Monday, January 11th, 2010

Celina boys win third straight game

By Gary R. Rasberry

Celina's Nate Bihn, with ball, is guarded by St. Henry's Neil Schwieterman, 14,. . .

ST. HENRY - At the start of the Celina-St. Henry boys basketball matchup, it appeared that the game was turning into a shootout.
At the end, the Bulldogs had more ammunition.
Celina took advantage of 27 Redskin turnovers and shot over 60 percent from the field to hand St. Henry its second straight loss in a 70-61 win at Redskin Gymnasium.
With the teams not playing often over the years and only renewing the matchup last season after 24 years, it had been awhile since the Bulldogs could last claim a victory over the Redskins, dating back to the 1933-34 season.
Things got rolling in a hurry as the first quarter was the Vic and John Show. St. Henry's Vic Fortkamp scored the first 11 points for St. Henry and Celina's John Homan scored eight of the Bulldogs' first 13 points. A 5-0 run for the Redskins in the final two minutes broke a 13-all tie to give St. Henry an early 18-13 lead.
Things, however, turned quickly, as Darin Waterman got things rolling.
Mixing free throws and buckets for 11 points in the quarter, Waterman paced a 25-16 advantage in the second quarter for the Bulldogs, putting Celina in front to stay at 35-34 with 40 seconds on the clock. Waterman put the needle to the Redskins right before the half, nailing a three-pointer to make it 38-34 Celina at the half.
Turnovers were taking their toll on the Redskins, as St. Henry turned it over 13 times in the first half, eight in the second quarter, as Celina got several layups off steals.
"We threw a couple different presses at them," said Celina coach Chris Bihn. "They were struggling on the presses. Just when they thought they'd get comfortable, one of our guys would step up front. There's a lot of things happening to help out."
"We're constantly getting the ball and putting it over our head, which is absolutely what we don't teach," said St. Henry coach Eric Rosenbeck. "On top of putting it over our head, when we did try to go somewhere, we would kick it around and the bottom line is, it's all fundamental stuff. We need to get better at every fundamental part of the game."
St. Henry kept pace, but it wasn't Fortkamp doing the work. After making his first eight shots of the game and scoring 18 points in the first half, Fortkamp was held to a single free throw in the third quarter.
It took Jason Westgerdes to get hot to keep St. Henry in the game.
Westgerdes' three-point barrage got St. Henry to within a point at 50-49 with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter, but Waterman hit four straight free throws to push the lead back up to five. From that point on, St. Henry could not get within four points.
Celina was 26-of-34 (76.5 percent) from the foul line and 21-of-33 (63.6 percent) from the field in the contest.
"They were up in our grill. We didn't get many open looks," said coach Bihn. "They made some good choices. We wanted to attack the basket. That was one thing we talked about coming in here: Getting to the free-throw line. Guys did a good job of that tonight."
For Rosenbeck, the result of the game was due to one factor.
"Attitude was what won Celina that basketball game," said Rosenbeck. "They had guys selling out. They had guys diving on the floor, we had guys reaching on the floor. They had guys picking each other up, we had guys pointing fingers. As a staff, we need to get that turned around immediately."
Waterman finished with 22 points with Homan adding 18 points. Nate Bihn was 7-of-9 from the foul line in the second half en route to 16 points.
"The thing our guys are doing offensively is passing the ball pretty well," said coach Bihn. "We're finding the open guy, we're getting the ball to the guy who has the best advantage. As long as our kids are doing that, good things will happen on offense. We're looking hard to get the ball to the best person."
Westgerdes was 5-of-8 from the three-point line to pace St. Henry with 21 points. Fortkamp was held to just two points in the second half before fouling out with two minutes left, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Celina heads to St. Marys on Friday to face the Roughriders in the indoor version of the Battle of Grand Lake. St. Henry will look to rebound as the Redskins host St. John's on Friday.
NOTES: Miss Ohio, Erica Gelhaus performed the National Anthem before the game, thanking the crowd for their support as she gets ready for the Miss America Pageant at the end of the month. ... The St. Henry boys cross country team were presented a banner for their three consecutive trips to the state meet.
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