By MARC TOBIAS
JACKSON CENTER — It’s hard to win a game when you
shoot just 25 percent from the field, and the New Knoxville
Lady hoopsters found that out firsthand last night at Jackson
Center in their 49-38 loss to the Tigers.
The Rangers came close, though, as the Tigers were equally poor
in connecting on just over 30 percent of their shots.
Ironically, each squad had 55 attempts, with Jackson Center
hitting 17 and New Knoxville 14. That basically meant the game
came down to rebounding and free-throw shooting, both of which
Jackson Center won easily.
The Tigers outboarded the Rangers 41-27, with 18 offensive rebounds.
Jackson Center’s Kristi Platfoot spearheaded that rebounding
attack with 16 boards, six of which were on the offensive side
of the floor.
“They outboarded us bad, it got very physical and their
5-foot-9 and matching up with us at 5-foot-4,” said New
Knoxville coach Dwain Meckstroth. “Across the board we
were giving up four inches. We couldn’t play them in a
man and they hit just enough shots in the zone to keep us at
Jackson Center was also able to make only 13-of-21 from the
foul line compared to six-of-eight for the Rangers. The seven-point
difference was obviously big in a nine-point game.
Early on it looked extremely bleak for the Rangers, as they
hit just one of their first 10 shots to fall behind, 12-2.
They battled back, though, and a Kara Katterheinrich three-pointer
cut the deficit to 14-10 after a quarter of action. The Rangers
went into the half trailing, 23-15.
New Knoxville cut the lead to five with 5:55 remaining in the
third quarter on a Kendal Bertsch three-pointer, but Jackson
Center quickly ran its lead back up to 10.
The Rangers got close a number of times, but were never consistent
enough offensively to make a big run.
“We weren’t patient enough to run our offense, we
got out of whack and that’s part of being young, they
tried to do it on their own and that happens,” MeckStroth
Going one-on-one wasn’t going to work last night, as Jackson
Center’s man-to-man defense proved difficult to crack.
Whenever New Knoxville did get a good look inside, the bunny
shots didn’t fall.
“We’re not a great offensive team, if we’re
going to win, then we have to stop people,” said Jackson
Center coach Gregg Gooding. “We work on defense 50 percent
of practice every night, and our key is straight up in your
“They have great three-point shooters, and for the most
part I think we were in their face, but when we lost them they
hit a couple. You can’t let them get on a role,”
New Knoxville hit four-of-11 from downtown, the last of which
was a buzzer beating three-pointer by Kara Katterheinrich to
end the third quarter and put the Rangers behind seven points
heading into the fourth.
The Rangers cut the lead to six when Nicole Wright scored four
straight points early in the third, and then cut it to six one
more time when Bertsch scored on an offensive rebound with 1:04
New Knoxville then tried to foul to get back in the game, but
the Tigers did a good job of getting the ball to the right person.
Catie Halberstadt was that individual, and she hit 10-of-12
free throws in the game, including six-of-six in the final minute.
Halberstadt finished with 17 points to lead all scorers, while
adding eight rebounds.
Katterheinrich and Bertsch both scored 10 for New Knoxville
while Bertsch added seven rebounds. Wright finished with seven
points and seven rebounds for the Rangers.
“Kara didn’t get as many looks, they pressured her
and we went inside where it was open, and they just didn’t
go in,” Meckstroth said. “It’ll get better,
you have to remember he had two or three seniors on the floor
and I have none. The juniors have to come around, we’re
in the back half of the season. Tonight was their first taste,
you go to work or this is how it’s going to be, I hope
they learned a lesson tonight.”
New Knoxville returns to action Thursday at Minster.