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01-11-04: St. Marys wins fifth straight

Vossler, Clark combine for 49 in victory


ST. MARYS — St. Marys continued to roll as it picked up its fifth consecutive win with a 69-61 triumph over Western Buckeye League rival Wapakoneta.
Maybe more importantly, the win keeps the ‘Riders undefeated in league play at 2-0 while the Redskins fall to 0-2 in WBL action.
St. Marys benefited all night from quick transition baskets, the majority of which were uncontested layups.
“We want the game to be fast, but I don’t think we want it to be as fast as they want it to be,” said St. Marys coach Josh Leslie. “We thought if they wanted to press us, then a lot of the times we wanted to get layups, and I think we did a pretty decent job of that. I don’t know how many turnovers we had, but I think we got more layups than we did turnovers.”
St. Marys turned the ball over just eight times.
No ‘Rider took more advantage of those fastbreak points than Scott Vossler, who finished the game with 25 points.
None of those transition baskets were bigger than the two uncontested layups late in the game, each right after the Redskins nailed three-pointers to cut into the St. Marys lead.
“It’s disappointing right at the end when twice in a row the guy (Scott Vossler) was so wide open for layups after we hit threes, but I’m pretty proud of what the kids did tonight,” said Wapakoneta assistant coach Mike Bollinger.
Bollinger was the acting coach because head coach Brian Vorst was serving the first of his two-game suspension for being ejected in last week’s game against Delphos St. John’s.
Bollinger said he thought the kids may have been hurt a little bit by Vorst’s absence, but what the Redskins were really hurt by was the two-headed monster of Vossler and Wes Clark.
Vossler connected on 11-of-14 from the field while Clark was just as solid by hitting eight-of-13 for 24 points. Clark also hit three-of-four from long range.
“Wes was big, since his injury early on he hasn’t had a night like this,” Leslie said. “This is good for him to build up some confidence. Scott, that’s kind of what you expect out of him. He’s a four-year player and a senior and leader on this team. He’s capable of doing that, and we make a conscience effort to get him the ball.”
“Clark kind of surprised us tonight, I didn’t expect him to shoot as well as he did, we came in really wanting to concentrate on Vossler and Burke,” Bollinger said.
The other thing that hurt Wapakoneta was its lack of success from three-point range.
It’s no secret the Redskins like to chuck it up from long range, but when they connected on just six-of-24 from the three-point stripe it was difficult for them to stay close.
“If you knock a few more of those down, instead of being down eight or nine points you might be only down three and feel you’re still in the game,” Bollinger said.
“The thing we didn’t want to have was McCormick or (Brett) Schroeder to be able to sit on the line or a foot behind the (three-point) line and get a good look,” Leslie said.
Leslie’s game plan worked, as the Redskins had few easy looks from long range, and most of the ‘Skins three-point attempts were from 22 feet or farther out. St. Marys meanwhile hit six-of-13 from behind the arc.
The two squads were tied at 34-34 at the half, but St. Marys was able to use an 18-11 third quarter to help build a lead.
The ‘Riders went on a 10-2 run to end the third for a 52-45 lead.
“We told the guys they were probably going to come out aggressive in the third quarter,” Bollinger said. “Their coach probably wasn’t too pleased about being tied in their own gym against Wapak, and they did come out with a lot of aggressiveness.
“I think our kids were half a step slower in the second half as well,” Bollinger added. “That’s one of the reasons we cut back on our trapping, but we still were giving them too many easy looks.”
Todd Graves had another big rebounding night for St. Marys as he pulled down 11 boards.
McCormick ended up leading the Redskins with 17 points, while Schroeder and Brandon Steinke each added 12 points.
St. Marys improves to 7-2 on the year while Wapak falls to 3-4.
The ‘Riders return to action tonight when they travel to New Bremen.


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