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01-05-04: Cavaliers down Wildcats


LIMA — Coldwater used a hot start in non-league action Saturday night to post a 51-36 victory over winless Lima Bath.
The Cavaliers jumped on top of the Wildcats 7-0, and led 23-3 early in the second quarter.
Jay Miller was a major contributor to Coldwater’s blazing start, as the senior forward connected on his first five shots.
Miller finished by leading all scorers with 15 points on six-of-seven shooting, including three-of-three from the foul line.
He also grabbed six offensive rebounds and along with junior Brent Robbins, Coldwater dominated the inside play for the majority of the night.
“It wasn’t just Jay, but he sticks out because he had a lot of offensive rebounds, and a lot of points, but there are some other kids like Brent Robbins and Brandon Bettinger, Chad Miller and Craig Koesters to a certain extent that hit the boards hard,” said Coldwater coach Don Vogt.
The Cavs big men were able to make solid interior passes, and that helped Robbins finish with eight points and four boards.
Koesters added eight points and five rebounds for Coldwater.
The major key to Coldwater’s victory was its swarming defense. The Cavaliers forced 18 Bath turnovers and 40 percent shooting.
“I think their pressure was pretty good, when you play with the young guards that we have and with nine out of our 10 players having not been through the wars it’s tough,” said first-year Bath coach Al Thomas. “Ninety percent of offense is being in the right spot, and I think the inexperience with our guards confuses us. In the second half we started to get in the right spots.”
Bath particularly struggled with Coldwater’s half-court trapping.
Craig Wellman and Jeff Grieshop both started the second quarter with steals out of those defensive sets, and both took those steals for layups that pushed the Cavs lead to 20-3.
“A lot of times we tell our kids that defense creates offense, and tonight I think that certainly held true,” Vogt said. “The kids in the traps played hard, and I was impressed by the rotation on the back side where they would take away the next pass. That’s something they haven’t done a whole lot of, we get up and trap, but not to that degree. What really helped that out was the intensity the kids brought. You can play any defense in the world you want, but if the kids don’t bring intensity to the table then none of them work. Tonight they brought the intensity and made the defense work for them.”
Bath battled back in the second half, and its 2-3 zone helped the Wildcats crawl within 12 points midway in the fourth quarter.
Coldwater answered with patience on offense, and with Bath trailing it was forced to play man-to-man and that’s when the Cavs dominated offensively.
“When you get down 23-3 and you’re playing zone they can just pass it around, so we figured we had to switch it up a little bit,” Thomas said. “We’re in a beginning phase of a basketball program, we don’t have a lot of things in, but we’re going on the philosophy that we’ll be a man-to-man defense in 2-5 years.”
Two free throw’s by Miller and Alex Hoyng put Coldwater back on top 50-34 to help ice the game.
Coldwater improves to 3-2 while Bath falls to 0-6.


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