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The Daily



12-08-03: Wellman big in Cavalier win

Junior scores 17 in season opener


ST. MARYS — Coldwater was able to utilize a three-quarter court zone press and a solid halfcourt defense to knock off St. Marys 51-43 Saturday night at McBroom Gymnasium.
The ’Riders wanted to get up and down the floor quickly, but in the first half they struggled to find a way to get through the Cavaliers’ zone press.
“It definitely slowed us down some, we weren’t flashing the right guy in the middle, and then it goes back to finding the next pass,” said St. Marys coach Josh Leslie. “We struggled with that in the first half, the second half I don’t think it was as much of a problem, but we couldn’t finish. We couldn’t get over the hump, to where we go on a run and stop them from getting that big shot, they always had an answer to our run.”
That pressure allowed Coldwater to jump out to a 30-17 halftime lead.
“We saw them play Sidney Lehman and I joked with coach Leslie about not being able to see their numbers because they were so fast up and down the floor, it seemed like a blur, “ said Coldwater coach Don Vogt. “We knew we had to do something to slow that down, we played a little zone press to keep the ball in front of us, they started throwing the ball over us in the second half and we adjusted to more of a man-type defense where we just hustled back in transition and stayed in front of them the best we could.”
St. Marys came out inspired in the second half, as a 9-2 run cut the Cavaliers lead to 32-26.
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Scott Vossler, who led St. Marys with 17 points, scored seven of those nine, and Coldwater appeared to be in danger of losing the lead.
The Roughriders defense had Coldwater reeling, as the Cavs were forced into 25 turnovers and held to six points in the third quarter.
When Tom Burke stole a pass and took it in for a layup, the Riders trailed by just two.
That was as close as St. Marys would get, though, as Coldwater always seemed to have a big shot that would hold the lead.
When Vossler knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the Riders deficit to 38-34, it was Craig Wellman hitting one of his four three-pointers.
Craig Koesters scored two of his nine points on a assist from Jeff Grieshop, and another Wellman 3-pointer made it 46-34 Cavs with just over four minutes to play.
Wellman, along with Vossler from St. Marys, were the games top scorers with 17 points.
“Here’s a kid a couple weeks ago who wasn’t sure about his shot coming out of football,” Vogt said of Wellman. “His dad was kidding me one day that he took him to the gym on Sunday and he was throwing up bricks, he certainly overcame that tonight and he hit some huge shots for us.”
St. Marys certainly wish they could say the same thing about their shooting, as they connected on 30 percent (17-of-56) of their shots.
The Riders shooting woes were most evident from three-point range, where they connected on just 1-of-21. Coldwater hit 8-of-19 from long range.
“We took bad shots, we didn’t necessarily make the extra pass as well as we did last night, we were finding the right guy to take shots at the right time and tonight we didn’t do that,” Leslie said. “We kind of settled for the first look, instead of making the next pass for a better look.”
“We cannot live on the three-point line, we tend to do that too much,” Leslie added. “We had 24 more shots then they had, if you have 24 more shots you expect to win. The thing is when they got shots, they made shots. We cut it to two and they seemed like they always had an answer. Wellman and Koesters hit big three-pointers. I’m proud of our kids for fighting back in the second half, but we need to have that same effort in the first half, and I don’t think we necessarily got that.”
Coldwater was able to overcome their 25 turnovers by hitting 20-of-39 from the floor (51 percent). Grieshop added 10 points for the Cavs while Kyle Vossler 10 for the Riders.
St. Marys is back in action Friday when the Roughriders host St. Henry while Coldwater takes an extended break and will travel to Minster on Dec. 19.


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