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01-05-04: St. Henry downs Ansonia


ST. HENRY — With the conference schedule getting back underway this Friday, one could say that St. Henry had a fine tuneup on Saturday.
The Redskins did the damage with defense rather than offense in handing Ansonia its first loss of the season in a 56-37 drubbing at Redskins Gymnasium. The win is the sixth straight for the Redskins in putting them at 6-2 on the season while Ansonia drops to 9-1.
St. Henry had to fight off the Tigers for three quarters before finally being able to put together enough to make the cushion of victory a lot softer for the Redskin faithful in attendance.
“It was a battle,” said St. Henry coach Joe Niekamp. “I thought both teams played with a lot of intensity and both were aggressive. It was a hard-fought game.”
The main thing St. Henry needed to watch for on defense was the Ansonia pair of Jack Steinke and Adam Barga, who combined for 47 points in the win over Fort Recovery last week.
Steinke, a six-foot guard, had plenty of pressure on him throughout the game, finishing with just 14 points but getting the upperhand on the Redskins by hitting a two-handed dunk in the first half.
“Steinke and Barga combine for a lot of their offense,” said Niekamp. “Steinke is just a super athlete. He’s a tough guy to handle and to find someone who can match up. I thought we had an excellent effort, especially when Bryan Post was on him. In the second half he was able to really cut down on (Steinke’s) penetration. We were able to slow that down.”
The 6-5 Barga was hounded all evening by either 6-6 Steve Sutter or 6-9 Kurt Huelsman in the game. Barga did score 13 points but was just 6-of-15 from the field. Huelsman came up especially big, blocking five of Barga’s shots.
After scoring 70 points or more in the first five games of the winning streak, the Redskins had to deal with a potent defense in the Tigers’ matchup zone. The Redskins weren’t able to use their size advantage as the zone collapsed when either Sutter or Huelsman got near the ball. St. Henry countered with some strong cutting moves to the basket and some outside shooting.
“They always had an answer,” said Ansonia coach Chad Cramer. “They’re a very disciplined basketball team. When they needed to, they got good looking shots. They have a very nice team.
“Our little guards (5-11 Greg Wentworth and 5-9 Kevin Harrod) work hard up front. We try to be as active as we can be, getting in the passing lanes and going after the ball. I can’t fault our kids’ effort tonight,” continued Cramer.
Sutter and Nate Stahl led St. Henry with a pair of 11-point games while Ross Niekamp came off the bench to add 10. Huelsman played a strong all-around contest and finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks.
St. Henry re-starts Midwest Athletic Conference play on Friday with a road trip to Fort Recovery.


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