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The Daily



12-23-03: Bulldogs hold off the Redskins

Standard Correspondent
ST. HENRY — Last night at the St. Henry Middle School Gymnasium, the two most-seasoned area coaches were reunited on the basketball court as Charlie Maier’s St. Henry Redskins played host to Jack Clouse’s Celina Lady Bulldogs.
The two coaches entered the contest with close to seven hundred career wins between them and three state championships, but last night both coaches were looking to gain some positive consistency in the early part of the season.
Despite a heroic second-half comeback by the Redskins, Celina utilized strong rebounding and was superb from the free-throw line en route to a 56-49 win.
“I truly feel that our free-throw shooting was what won us the game tonight,” commented Clouse. “I wasn’t real happy with the way we failed to extend our lead in the second half, but I was thrilled with the way we took care of the ball and did what we needed to do in the end to win the game.”
In the opening quarter, both teams battled back and forth, as St. Henry’s biggest lead was at five points, while Celina took the one point lead at the end of the stanza, 13-12. Celina senior Kelli Williams and St. Henry’s Lindsay Hess, each contributed four points in the quarter as both teams combined for 14 turnovers in the first eight minutes.
“I thought Lindsay Hess was a huge factor in the game tonight for St. Henry,” complimented Clouse. “Every time we tried to penetrate and shoot, she was there on us blocking our shots. She is a very nice player that really changed the game for them defensively on the inside.”
Celina opened the second quarter with the game’s first five points to take the 18-12 lead, but sophomore Brenda Hemmelgarn, drained two straight buckets for the Redskins to cut the visitors’ lead to two points at 18-16.
From that point on, it was all Celina, as they scored 14 of the game’s next 17 points to take the 32-19 lead at the end of the first half. In the opening half, Williams led all scorers with 12 points and her Bulldogs out-rebounded St. Henry 19-8.
Just when it looked as if the Bulldogs were in position to put the contest out of reach, St. Henry opened the third quarter with a huge three-pointer by junior Danielle Kremer to cut their deficit to 10 points at 32-22. The Bulldogs scored eight of their next 10 points at the charity stripe, but the Redskins slowly chipped away with timely shooting and good ball protection. At the end of the third quarter the Bulldogs were still in command, although what was once a solid 13-point advantage, had dissipated to seven-points at 42-35.
“We talked at half time about giving up the lead and we went out and made some poor decisions,” said Clouse. “We need to just relax and be aware of what is going on around us. We recovered in time and did a real nice job in the end of making the proper adjustments.”
St. Henry continued to ride their wave of momentum into the final period, as Hemmelgarn and junior Mindy Siefring combined for seven quick points, including a monster long ball by Hemmelgarn to knot the contest at 42 points. Following a regrouping (Continued from page 1B)
timeout by Clouse, his girls answered with four straight points before a three-pointer by sophomore Kayla Lefeld pulled St. Henry to within one point at 46-45.
A pair of free throws with 3:41 remaining by Lindsay Hess gave St. Henry the one-point lead, but the next two minutes would prove to be their fate. A free throw by freshmen Betsy Hone tied the game at 47 points. A pair of buckets by Williams combined with a couple of free throws by junior Allison Hoying, and Celina was all of a sudden ahead by five points at 52-47. St. Henry senior Kendra Buschur converted a pair of charity tosses with under a minute to play, but that is all the closer her team would come.
Senior Andrea Bryan sealed the deal for the Green and White with two more free tosses with eight seconds to play, and Celina left St. Henry with the 56-49 win.
“Right now I just don’t think we are real mature on the basketball court yet, but that will come with time,” explained Maier. “We had a lead there in the end and just didn’t take care of the ball the way we needed to. The girls are young and we need to develop confidence and learn not to rush things when it gets tight.”
With the win, Celina moves to 5-3 on the season and will host Coldwater on Saturday at the Fieldhouse in Celina. St. Henry slips to 1-5 on the year and will travel to St. Marys on January 3 to face a strong St. Marys team on their home court.


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