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01-23-04: Wildcats rough up Redskins

Standard Correspondent

ST. HENRY — To say the St. Henry Lady Redskins’ first half of basketball last night against Minster was ugly is like saying that seeing Dennis Rodman wearing a wedding dress is “a little odd.”
The first 16 minutes for Charlie Maier’s crew was hairless-cat ugly.
The visiting Wildcats jumped out to a 27-2 lead midway through the second quarter and forced 18 turnovers in the opening half, laying the foundation for a 61-29 victory.
When asked if he could detect any silver linings despite the game’s outcome, Maier responded, “No, not really. This is one of those games against a very good team, where you take your lumps and put it behind you. We are off until next Tuesday and we have to forget about this between now and then and come back ready to play.”
The Redskins pulled down the opening tip, but on their first four trips down the floor, turnovers led to Minster’s first nine points. Over the next four minutes of action, the Wildcats extended their lead to 19-0, with six of those points coming from junior Karen Brackman.
Megan Siefring broke St. Henry’s scoring drought with 40 seconds to play in the half, when her jumper cut the Wildcat lead to 17 points at 19-2. Kristen Shenk closed the quarter with a bucket to give her team the 19-point advantage at the end of the opening stanza.
“When we played them (St. Henry) earlier this season, we won by only nine points,” explained Minster coach Nann Stechschulte. “We know this can be a tough place to play, and we wanted to come over and be aggressive from the very start. The girls were able to accomplish that, and I’m happy with the way we played tonight.”
The second period picked up right where Minster left off as it extended its command to 25 points as the Redskins coughed the ball up on four of their first five possessions.
Another two points from Siefring was answered by a pair of Wildcat baskets from Shenk and senior Robyn Hoying. Redskin sophomore Kayla Lefeld cut her team’s deficit to 25 points once again, but was answered by another couple of counters from the Wildcats, courtesy of Hoying and junior Lindsay Quinter.
Trailing 35-6, St. Henry scored the half’s last points when senior Lindsay Hess hit a bucket from the paint, giving the visitors the resounding lead at halftime. 35-8.
“We made a lot of mental errors tonight when we had the ball and made some bad decisions with our passes,” commented Maier. “Minster played a very aggressive and tough defense and we weren’t able to handle their traps. They’re a very good team that played well the entire game tonight.”
The second half commenced with both teams trading baskets, before Minster tore off on another 9-0 run, extending their lead to the biggest of the evening, 50-15. The stanza ended with a sprinkle of back and forth scoring, pushing the Wildcats ahead 55-19, with three periods in the books.
Both coaches elected to utilize their bench in the final quarter, and with the reserves running the floor and Minster’s press put out to pasture, the Redskins were able to outscore the visitors 10-6. The effort was not enough, however, as the Wildcats posted the 32-point drubbing over the home team, 61-29.
“It was very important tonight for us to build that big lead early,” said Stechschulte. “I was very impressed with our offensive rebounding tonight and also the way we were able to dish off in the paint for a lot of our points. We played very well in the transition, and with the schedule we still have coming up, it is nice to see things continue to come together for us.”
Shenk paced 10 Wildcats who found their way into the scoring column with 13 points on the night. Robyn Hoying chipped in 11 points and corralled eight rebounds, while senior Bridget Slonkosky added 10 points in the winning effort. St. Henry was led by Lindsay Hess with 10 points and six rebounds.
The Wildcats (10-2, 5-0 MAC), will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they host the Ottoville Big Green, while St. Henry, who with the loss drop to 2-9 overall and 2-3 in the MAC, will hit the road on Tuesday to face the Waynesfield Goshen Tigers.
Mike Wiss’ junior varsity squad was also victorious last evening, posting a 48-29 victory over St. Henry.


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