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01-27-03: Tough weekend for Celina boy and girl hoopsters
Standard Correspondent

    COLDWATER - It's been 20 years since Celina and Coldwater last jockeyed for position in league standings, back when both teams were members of the Western Buckeye League.
    Since then, the confrontation has been one of area - and family - bragging rights.
    The Bulldogs and Cavaliers met on Saturday evening in the Palace, one of the newer and more expansive high school basketball venues in the region. Even the large environs of the Palace were barely enough to contain the electrically charged and emotionally fueled atmosphere tha  accompanies a Bulldogs-Cavaliers confrontation.
    Paced by superior shooting nights from Kyle Heyne and Matt Lefeld, the Cavaliers won the latest round of the series, beating the Bulldogs, 59-48, before a standing room only crowd in Coldwater.
    "Celina did a nice job on Kevin (Hoyng)," said Cavaliers' coach Don Vogt. "Defensively, they did a great job on our guards, and offensively, they're tough to handle. We had some turnovers against their defense, but overall, I thought we handled their pressure well."
    Heyne was seven-of-eight from the floor, and five-of-six from the line for a game-high 21 points. Lefeld hit eight of his nine shots for 16 points, and Craig Koesters added 10 for the Cavaliers. Tim Homan led Celina with 20 points and Brett Dorsten, who scored the game's first six points, had 13.
    "This weekend has been one of the stronger all-around weekends we've had this year," said Vogt. "We shot really well from the field."
    Dorsten used his quickness to go around the 6-11 Lefeld for his first two scores, and converted a steal for another.
    Heyne contributed 10 points and Koesters add a three-pointer as part of a 15-1 Cavaliers' run that gave them a 15-7 lead. Two free throws and a three-pointer from Joe Kanney cut Coldwater's lead to 15-12 at the end of the first quarter.
    "Heyne started the game really hot and then Coldwater got patient and other guys stepped up and hit some shots from the perimeter," Celina head coach Mike Kanney said. "We battled and hung in there, but we couldn't hit the big shots when we needed them."
    Lefeld got his first two scores as part of a nine-point run that began the second quarter. Koesters added a jumper and Mike Gabel had a three as part of the run.
    "Coldwater did a nice job of getting the ball to Matt late in the game," coach Kanney said. "He's a much improved player."
    Celina cut the margin to 39-34 at the end of the third quarter on the strength of 12 points from Homan, who scored 19 of his 20 markers in the second half, but Coldwater stepped up its game in the final period to put the Bulldogs away.
    "We talked at halftime about Tim being more aggressive against the zone," coach Kanney said. "We still missed a lot of good opportunities because we didn't shoot well (36 percent)."
    Coldwater hit each of its seven shots from the floor, a two by Heyne, a trey by Koesters, and five shots inside by Lefeld. Alex Hoyng hit five free throws down the stretch to keep the game out of the Bulldogs' reach.
    Coldwater travels to New Bremen for a Midwest Athletic Conference confrontation on Friday, while Celina hosts Defiance in WBL action.

Bulldogs get edged in OT by Bellefontaine

Sports Writer
    The Celina Bulldogs stayed close with Bellefontaine throughout the first 32 minutes of the game before falling back in the overtime suffering a 56-51 loss Saturday afternoon at the Fieldhouse.
    The Bulldogs fall to 9-8 on the season as the Chieftains get over .500 at 9-8.
    Celina coach Jack Close was pleased by his team's effort for the entire 36 minutes.
    "It was a possession game. Every possession mattered," said Clouse. "It was never more than a four- or five-point difference in the game. The kids played hard. I liked the way they played hard and I liked the way they came back."
    Celina forced the extra session with 2.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter on Kara Osterfeld's layup in traffic to tie the game at 45-45. The Chieftains' inbounds play fell short and the game went into overtime.
    The Bulldogs jumped out first with an Andrea Bryan jumper 28 seconds into the session to make it 47-45. Bellefontaine tied it up 15 seconds later on a pair of free throws by Rudi Hall.
    The teams traded points until the 1:59 mark when Martha Vernon gave the Chiefs a 50-49 lead. After Celina turned the ball over, Dannielle LaBatt sank a jumper with 1:13 left to put her team up three. Sara Ellis pushed the lead to 54-49 with a pair of free throws with 37.6 seconds left.
    Celina cut it to three with a Jenny Niekamp stickback and had a chance to get closer when LaBatt missed a pair of free throws. The rally went down after Celina was called for traveling with 12.2 seconds left. Ellis hit another pair of free throws to ice the game.
    Celina worked hard to try and contain Ellis, the leading scorer for the Chiefs. Ellis was held to just seven points at the half and had just 11 going into the extra session.
   "I was happy how (Claire) Smalley and Osterfeld defended Ellis," said Clouse.  "I thought they did a good job."      While Ellis was kept in check for the most part, finishing with 15 points, LaBatt picked up the slack, leading all scorers with 16 points, with six points coming in the fourth quarter and four more in overtime.
    "The fourth quarter and overtime, she hit six out of our seven field goals," said Bellefontaine coach Matt Comstock. "I was real proud of her stepping up. That's one thing we've struggled with all season with teams trying to shut down Sara. We need others to step up."
    Kelli Williams led Celina with 11 points while Bryan finished with nine points. Niekamp, who missed her only shot in the first half, responded with eight points and seven rebounds, four coming on the offensive end when Clouse started calling for Celina to push the ball inside more in the second half.
    "I thought they (Bellefontaine) were getting a little tired," said Clouse. "She (Niekamp) was able to get us some big offensive rebounds and put them back up. She did a nice job."
    Celina returns to the Fieldhouse on Thursday to face Wapakoneta.


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