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01-16-04: St. Henry beats rival for second win

Maier returns to Coldwater in winning style


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 like that.”
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.


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