By ROBB HEMMELGARN
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
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
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
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.