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02-20-04: Rangers knock off Cardinals in OT

Standard Correspondent

NEW BREMEN — Thursday night It was a major case of deja vu for New Knoxville coach Keith Meckstroth and his girls. Meckstroth’s girls ended the regular season the way they began with a win at New Bremen High School.
Back on Thanksgiving weekend, 2003, the Rangers swept the Cardinal Tip-Off Classic, beating Anna and New Bremen.
Thursday night the Rangers ended their regular season in dramatic fashion, rallying to defeat the Cardinals, 53-51, in overtime in Midwest Athletic Conference play.
New Knoxville ends the regular season at 12-8 overall and 5-4 in conference play while New Bremen falls to 8-12 and 5-4.
“It was just like the beginning of the season wasn’t it? “said Meckstroth. “I told you at the beginning of the season that this team has no stars, we had players stepped up just like we did the first weekend here. We hung around until we were able to figure things out and we went with the things that worked.”
The Rangers had to rally twice to pull this one out.
In regulation, the Rangers trailed 39-34, with 6:46 left when the Cardinals’ Robyn Garman drilled a three-point field goal.
New Knoxville quickly rallied back to tie the game at 39-all, on a basket by Kendall Bertsch and three-point play by Nicole Wright with just under four minutes left.
New Bremen regained the lead, 42-39, on a three-point field goal by Jenny Homan with 3:45 left but New Knoxville answered and re-tied the game at 42-42 on its next trip on a Wright trey.
New Bremen scored its last points of regulation when Homan found Kelly Steineman underneath the hoop for a 44-42 lead.
New Knoxville tied the game at 44-44 when Wright stuck back a Katie Pfenning miss with 14 seconds left. After a timeout, New Bremen had a chance but a Homan trey attempt rimed out.
“We had a five-point lead to start the fourth quarter then we give up an easy drive and score,” said New Bremen coach John Storrer. “We work on that all the time and we never seem to get it and I’m tired of watching it happen to us.”
New Bremen quickly took an early lead in the overtime as Ashley Egbert scored inside and Steineman canned two free throws on the Cardinals’ first two possession of the overtime.
After a Wright free toss made it 48-45, the Rangers converted a Homan miss into a Wright basket inside to make it 48-47 with two minutes left.
After a New Bremen turnover, Wright gave New Knoxville the lead for good with two free throws with 1:24 left. After another New Bremen miscue with 1:05 left, Whitney Meckstroth hit the first of a one-and-one from the free-throw line to make the score 50-48.
Meckstroth missed the second shot but Wright grabbed the rebound and the ensuing possession resulted in a Kara Katterheinrich free throw and a 51-48 lead with 24 seconds left.
Wright then topped off a huge night as she blocked a Homan three-point field goal attempt with 10 seconds left.
After a Katterheinrich free throw made the score, 52-48, Kacie Schmiesing canned a three-point field with two seconds left to cut the Ranger lead to 52-51.
Bertsch canned one of two free throws to seal the deal.
“I told the girls at the end of the regulation that if we were going to win the game we would have to go inside,” said Meckstroth. “Nicole got a big block defensively, she scored inside and we were able to hold on. I really didn’t know how much gas we had left but we were able to get it done.”
“I thought once we took the lead in the overtime we would be alright,” said Storrer. “They came down and scored an easy basket and they were within two and they made the plays down the stretch and we didn’t. They made some free throws, we couldn’t make some plays and they did. They deserved to win the game and we didn’t.”
Wright led the way for the Rangers with a game-high 23 points and she grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Homan led the Cardinals with 18 points.
New Knoxville is back in action on Tuesday night, back at New Bremen High School as it opens Division IV sectional play against Spencerville. New Bremen is off until next Saturday when they will play for a Division IV sectional championship at Lima Bath against the winner of Tuesday’s Temple Christian-Upper Scioto Valley game.


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