Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
By Ryan Hines
Fort Recovery escapes Fieldhouse with win
Celina's late comeback falls short
CELINA - Fort Recovery survived a furious fourth-quarter rally by Celina on Tuesday night for a 58-54 win at the Fieldhouse.
A 12-point Fort Recovery (17-2) lead early in the fourth quarter was whittled to just two points with 17 seconds remaining in the game. Kendra Brunswick hit a pair of free throws with 8.5 seconds on the clock to seal the win for the Indians.
It was an important win according to Fort Recovery's head coach Doug Bihn.
"This was a good game for us because Celina showed us some chinks in our armor that we have to get taken care of before tournament starts," said Bihn. "It was a good game between two good teams. It felt like a tournament atmosphere and a good win for our girls even though we didn't play as well as we are capable of playing."
Celina (10-9) head coach Brian Stetler was happy with the play of his Bulldogs despite the first loss in the last four games.
"I was really proud with the way that the girls played, especially in the second half," said Stetler. "Fort Recovery is a good team and it's nice for our girls to know that we can play with some of the elite teams in the area. We were right in it until the end. I thought it was one of the better overall games we have played this season."
Fort Recovery held a 10-point lead to start the fourth quarter and Brunswick pushed the lead to 12 points at 47-35 with 6:31 left to play in the game with an aggressive drive to the basket.
The Indians then tried to slow the pace of the game in an effort to take time off the clock. While Fort Recovery lost its aggression on offense, Celina's defense took advantage.
Fort Recovery turned the ball over on three straight possessions midway through the fourth quarter and Celina put together a 10-3 run that pulled the Bulldogs to within five points at 50-45. Elizabeth Laffin led the Celina charge with six points during the spurt.
A pair of free throws each from Olivia Schwieterman and Brunswick pushed Fort Recovery's lead back to eight points with under two minutes left in the game before Amanda Hoying buried a trey to cut the Bulldogs' deficit back to five points with 1:26 on the clock.
The Indians' Olivia Thien hit one-of-two at the free-throw line for a six-point Fort Recovery lead, but Hoying dialed long distance again for three and it was now 55-52 at the 1:00 mark.
Brunswick was fouled with 38 seconds on the clock and hit both free throws, but the second free throw was waved off for an Indians' lane violation that left the score 56-52 in favor of Fort Recovery.
Celina forced a Fort Recovery turnover with 20 seconds left on the clock and Taylor Guingrich hit a short jumper to pull the Bulldogs to within two points at 56-54 with 17 seconds remaining in the game.
Brunswick hit two more free throws with 8.5 seconds on the clock for a four-point lead and Celina turned the ball over on its final possession.
"I tried to get the ball late in the game because I fell comfortable shooting free throws," said Brunswick. "We didn't play our best game of the season, but we did just enough to get the win."
"Kendra is a great free-throw shooter at about 89 percent for the season, so she was the one that we wanted to have the ball late in the game," said Bihn.
Brunswick's 12 points led all scorers in the game for a balanced Fort Recovery attack. Schwieterman and Kelly Nietfeld also hit for double figures with 11 and 10 points.
Laffin came off the bench and was the lone player in double figures for Celina with 10 points, all in the second half.
Fort Recovery will host Delphos St. John's for its Midwest Athletic Conference finale on Thursday while Celina plays its last regular-season game on Thursday by hosting Western Buckeye League rival Lima Bath.
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Mostly sunny, mild
Mostly sunny, mild