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02-18-04: Poor shooting dooms St. Henry


WAPAKONETA — If St. Henry could have shot just 10 percentage points higher on Tuesday night, its game with Wapakoneta would have been a lot closer.
Instead, St. Henry was stuck with a field-goal percentage of just 21.9 percent as Wapak won the battle of the Redskins, 58-41, at Wapakoneta High School. St. Henry goes into its final two games of the season at 6-12 as Wapakoneta ends its regular season at 14-6.
St. Henry had plenty of open looks at the basket on Tuesday, and plenty of offensive rebounds to attempt second chances, but the lid stayed shut on both ends of the court for the Mercer Countians all night long.
“Someone said we shot something like 15 percent (actually 5-of-30 for 16.6 percent) in the first half,” said assistant coach Gary Clune, filling in for Charlie Maier, who was under the weather and missed the game. “We had a lot of really great looks. We gave up some easy baskets early in the game. We played well other than that.”
Looking at some of the other statistical categories, Clune had a point. St. Henry pulled down 36 rebounds, eight less than Wapak’s 44. Of those 36, 21 were on the offensive side of the ball. The St. Henry defense also caused havoc, forcing 14 turnovers while committing only 11 on the evening.
“They did an excellent job on the boards,” said Wapak coach Courtney Rogers of St. Henry’s board work. “You have to give them credit. They dominated the boards. That’s one of our focuses and they outdid us there.”
The shooting was the culprit, especially with Wapak sinking a cool 47.9 percent from the floor in the game (23-of-48). Yet the Redskins rebounded from an 18-5 first-quarter start to play relatively even the rest of the way.
Wapak, celebrating senior night, had regular starters Lindsey West and Krissy Koester staying on the bench to start the game to get five seniors that don’t see much playing time a start in front of the home crowd.
The seniors lived up to the challenge as 5-2 guard Courtney Schlenker hit two three-pointers and Haley Reed added a pair of buckets to get out to a 10-3 lead. When Koester, the team’s leading scorer, and West came on to the court, the torment continued as St. Henry managed just one field goal, a three-pointer by Brenda Hemmelgarn, and a pair of free throws in the first eight minutes.
“I was real pleased with our seniors tonight,” said Rogers. “They came out and gave us that big lead early. That really determined the rest of the game. St. Henry couldn’t really come back. They made a couple of runs at us and we kept making the shots.”
After the opening period, the teams stayed relatively even. St. Henry shot a little better but still only made 14 field goals in 64 attempts. Clune, though, couldn’t fault St. Henry’s effort.
“The girls hustled. They’ve done it all year and continue to do so,” said Clune. “They played pretty good defense.”
Koester finished with a game-high 13 for Wapak while Schlenker and Reed added nine each. Danielle Kremer led St. Henry with 12 points.
St. Henry returns to action on Thursday with a road trip to St. John’s.
The St. Henry junior varsity picked up a big win over Wapak, winning 43-40 thanks to four Emily Schwieterman free throws in the final 25 seconds of the game.


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