Maier returns to Coldwater
in winning style
By GARY R. RASBERRY
COLDWATER — It didn’t really matter that he sat
on the opposing team’s bench, Charlie Maier still can
rely on the Palace for some magic.
The hall of fame coach made his return to the Coldwater gymnasium
for the first time as a visiting coach on Tuesday night as St.
Henry looked to get just its second win of the season.
A 9-0 run to start the third quarter put the Redskins ahead
for the first time in the game as well as for good in picking
up a 41-36 win over the Cavaliers.
While it was just the second win for the Redskins in 10 games,
the win does even their Midwest Athletic Conference record at
2-2. Coldwater drops to 2-9 on the year and 0-4 in the MAC.
“We’ve always had some kind of a bad quarter,”
said Maier, who won 374 games as Coldwater’s coach from
1978 to 1988. “I didn’t see that tonight. I didn’t
see any quarters like the ones we got outscored 19-2 or something
Coldwater held a small 19-17 lead at the halftime break but
St. Henry made quick work of that as Kayla Lefeld got the critical
run going in getting fouled on a made bucket 19 seconds into
the second half. The made free throw gave St. Henry its first
lead of the game.
The Redskins made sure the lead lasted as Brenda Hemmelgarn
got a steal and layed it in for a deuce to make it 22-19. After
a timeout, Lefeld scored four straight points to push the lead
to 26-19 before Alyssa Vogel scored to break the skid.
The Cavaliers were stymied as Maier went to a 3⁄4-court
press which forced Coldwater to turn the ball over six times
in the third quarter, mainly on Redskins steals.
“(The press) slowed us down and we never got used to it,”
said Coldwater coach Nick Fisher. “It took us out of any
continuity all night. We just never attacked it. We made a big
thing at halftime about coming out in the third quarter and
getting a good start. Obviously we did not.”
“We came out intense and started to run the offense,”
said Maier. “The defense (in the first half) was fine
but on offense we were just standing around. We needed to get
some exchanges going and we had our guards pick for the post.
I think that opened things a bit.”
St. Henry outscored the Cavaliers 15-4 in the third period to
take a 32-23 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers
tried to get back into the game at the start of the fourth quarter
when Amanda Harting and Ashley Geier each hit three-pointers
to help cut the lead to 34-31 with 5:42 left in the game.
St. Henry responded by breaking the Cavaliers press and getting
plenty of point-blank shots inside the paint. Coldwater also
turned the ball over five times in the fourth quarter to help
St. Henry hold onto and extend the lead.
“I thought Alyssa and Katie Homan did an awesome job on
the boards,” Fisher said of the pair, who finished with
10 rebounds each. “They combined for nine offensive boards.
We didn’t shoot the ball well (making just 12-of-47) so
there were a lot of rebounds (Coldwater won the category 42-35).
We had the opportunities to come back and we scrapped at them.
There were just too many things that weren’t too smart
in the second half.”
“It was just two teams that have been struggling a bit
tonight,” said Maier. “One of us had to come out
on top. I’m glad it was us.”
Lefeld led St. Henry with 12 points while Lindsay Hess added
eight points and 14 rebounds.
Vogel finished with 11 points for Coldwater while Ashley Geier
came off the bench for 10 points.
Coldwater returns to action for a rare Saturday evening game
with Lima Central Catholic coming to the Palace for a 6 p.m.
start. St. Henry is off until Thursday when Minster comes to
Redskin Gymnasium for a conference matchup.