Saturday, January 21st, 2012
Bulldogs dominate second half
Celina beats St. Marys for sixth straight year
By Ryan Hines
Celina's Braelen Bader, with ball, tries a left-handed shot over St. Marys' J.D.. . .
ST. MARYS - Celina held St. Marys scoreless for a 5:46 stretch during the second half and the Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak with a 72-58 victory over the Roughriders in the annual Battle of Grand Lake rivalry game.
It's the sixth straight win in the rivalry matchup for the Bulldogs, who are now 5-7 overall and 1-3 in the WBL. St. Marys has lost four of its last five games and stands at 5-8 (1-3 WBL).
Celina needed a 9-2 run to close the first half just to tie the game at 25-25 going into halftime. Matt Buschur had four points and Scott Moeder canned a three-pointer to ignite the run.
The third quarter was all Celina.
A stagnant Bulldogs' offense scored just 25 points in the first half, but Celina scored 25 in the third quarter alone to surge in front of the Roughriders 50-39 entering the final eight minutes of action.
After eight lead changes in the first 3:27 of the third quarter, St. Marys' Garet Fledderjohann hit a short jumper to put the Roughriders up for the last time at 39-38.
The Bulldogs' bench then sparked a 12-0 run to close the third quarter. Arik Fickert and Braden Billger each scored four points to spark the run.
"We came out focused and ready to play in the third quarter," said Bihn, who watched his team shoot 12-of-16 from the field in the third quarter. "We battled hard just to get the game tied by halftime and then came out fired up in the second half. We didn't make any adjustments, we just talked about the things that we needed to do. I think the area we stepped up in was on defense. We scored a few points off turnovers from our defense.
"We got into a flow in the third quarter and there was some fluid movement within our offense," added Bihn.
Braelen Bader opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer and then Ryan Hoyng got loose in the lane for two points to cap a 17-0 Bulldogs' run that put Celina on top 55-39 at the 7:01 mark of the fourth quarter.
D.J. Manning drilled a three-pointer at the 5:55 mark of the fourth quarter to halt a 5:46 scoreless streak by the Roughriders.
"Tonight was a little bit like last week," said St. Marys' head coach Dan Hegemier, referring to last Friday's game against Bath. "We are right there with them and then we go brain dead for about 2 1/2 or 3 minutes. They (Celina) got on a roll and created a spread. Everything that they threw up went in and they executed very well. We just couldn't get back into it after that.
"We were breaking their press all night long and then all of a sudden for two or three minutes we couldn't do it.....Why?," continued a frustrated Hegemier.
Celina's lead never dipped below 12 points the rest of the game as the Bulldogs cashed in on their attempts at the free-throw line. The Bulldogs were 22-of-28 from the charity stripe in the game, including 8-of-8 in the final 3:57 of the game.
The Bulldogs had seven players dent the scoring column. Matt Buschur scored 20 points to pace the Bulldogs while Moeder hit for 16 points with Bader contributing a career-high 13 points.
"Braelen played pretty well tonight. He shot the ball well and defended well. He just lifted his game up tonight," said Bihn.
J.D. Meyer had a big night for St. Marys with a game-high 25 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Outside of Meyer, St. Marys struggled on offense and finished the night 24-of-58 from the field (41 percent) and 2-of-21 from three-point range.
Manning was the only other Roughrider in double figures with 11 points.
Celina will try to raise its record to the .500 mark next Friday night at the Fieldhouse against Van Wert while St. Marys travels to Defiance next Friday.