By MARC TOBIAS
St. Henry — The Redskins torched the nets early and used
a balanced offensive attack to cruise past Tri-Village 78-49
in a boys makeup game last night at Redskin Gymnasium.
St. Henry never trailed in the game, and it connected on 11-of-17
shots in the first quarter to build a 12-point lead.
The hot shooting and fast-paced tempo carried over into the
second quarter and by halftime the Redskins were ahead 43-27.
“The kids did a nice job of pushing the tempo, running
the floor and getting the ball out,” said St. Henry coach
Joe Niekamp. “We established a nice tempo for the game
right off the bat.”
St. Henry utilized a fullcourt press to keep the tempo at a
fast pace, and it led to a lot of easy transition baskets. The
Redskins did allow a few easy buckets because of the press,
but the transition play was easily in the Redskins favor.
“They were dictating the tempo with their press, and we’d
rather not go quite that quick but we worked on it in practice
and were somewhat prepared for it,” said Tri-Village coach
Nate Stahl might have been the biggest benefactor to the fast
pace, as he tallied 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
“I liked the way he put the ball on the floor and went
to the basket, he had a diversified game out there which he’s
done a lot for us this year. Tonight he was a real threat because
obviously he can shoot the basketball,” Niekamp said.
Even when the Redskins were in a halfcourt offense they were
running on all cylinders as they had a balanced attack from
the perimeter and on the inside.
Kurt Huelsman and Steve Sutter combined for 17 first-half points,
all coming in the paint while Stahl and Ross Niekamp added 21
points from their guard positions.
The Redskins cracked the game open at the end of the first quarter
and early second.
Bryan Post nailed a buzzer-beating three-point shot from the
corner to end the first quarter, and St. Henry went on a 10-4
run to start the second going on top 36-20.
St. Henry finished by shooting 60 percent (18-for-30) in the
games opening 16 minutes of play.
“We knew they were capable of shooting well, and we were
hoping defensively we could get some stuff done and I think
we played hard tonight, I was pleased with the effort but they’re
just a really good ball club,” Falknor said. “We’re
coming along, we’re not where we want to be but we’re
St. Henry then opened the third quarter with a 17-4 run to go
ahead 60-33 and crush any hopes the Patriots had of clawing
themselves back in the game.
The Redskins finished by making 56 percent of its shots while
holding Tri-Village to 36-percent shooting.
“I think the last couple games we haven’t shot the
ball as well, but I told the kids nobody’s going to go
through a 20-game season and shoot the ball great every game,”
Niekamp said. “Tonight we got a lot of good looks, and
guys made their share and we got the ball in a lot of nice places,
we got it down low enough times.”
Huelsman led the hot shooting Redskins by making 9-of-11 from
the field for 20 points. He also dominated the paint on the
defensive end where he blocked six shots and grabbed five rebounds.
“We wanted to attack the block and we were hoping to draw
some fouls, but he does a nice job of staying on the floor and
blocking shots,” Falknor said.
Corey Jay did get some production inside for Tri-Village as
he led the Patriots with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Sutter complimented Huelsman well as he finished with 13 points
and 6 rebounds.
“The guys did a nice job of looking for them down there,
a few times they got some (put backs) on rebounds and they both
really worked hard inside and I thought it was outstanding play,”
Ross Niekamp finished with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting from
the field and he knocked down all three of his free throw attempts.
Kyler Bruns added 13 points for Tri-Village who saw its record
dip to 8-9.
St. Henry improves to 11-3 and returns to action Friday when
it travels to Versailles in a matchup of the last two unbeatens
in the Midwest Athletic Conference.