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Monday, January 21st, 2013

Cavaliers edge Roughriders for fifth straight victory

By Mark Ruschau
ST. MARYS - The Coldwater Cavaliers used a brief offensive explosion in the first half and then held off the St. Marys Roughriders down the stretch to post a 46-37 win in girls basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Murotech Court.
Coldwater has now won five in a row to improve to 11-5 on the season while the Roughriders fall to 2-12.
The Cavaliers led 14-9 late in the first quarter before scoring on six of their next seven possessions for a 13-4 run and a 27-13 lead. Sarah Kanney scored nine points and Megan Muhlenkamp had the other four points during the Cavaliers' game-changing run.
Defense and rebounding keyed the Cavaliers' first half. Coldwater converted five offensive rebounds into 10 points and held St. Marys to just two field goals while forcing five turnovers. The Roughriders did not help themselves offensively by converting just 1-of-6 at the free-throw line while also getting no points off seven offensive rebounds.
The Roughriders then outscored the Cavaliers 9-2 in the third period to reduce their deficit to 33-26 entering the fourth quarter. Molly Albert led the Roughriders' third-quarter charge as she scored seven points while St. Marys' defense held Coldwater to just 1-of-9 shooting.
The Roughriders continued their solid play into the fourth period as they scored five of the first eight points to close their deficit to 36-31 after a lay in by Reagan Aller with 5:22 left in the game.
On Coldwater's next possession, the Cavs scored three times from the charity stripe to rebuild the lead to eight as Muhlenkamp went one-for-two before Bridget Dues grabbed the offensive rebound, was fouled and canned two more from the charity stripe.
St. Marys then made a final charge by scoring six of the game's next eight points to pull to within 41-37 after two Albert free throws with 2:22 on the clock. That was as close as the Roughriders could get though as they had four empty offensive possessions to close out the game.
Muhlenkamp sealed the win for the Cavs by hitting three-of-four from the free-throw line in the final 66 seconds.
"I am not trying to make excuses, but I think we got a little tired in the second half. I think playing the first half the way we played wore us out a little bit," said Coldwater's coach Nick Fisher. "I just told the kids to persevere. It just goes back to believing in what you are doing and executing it. When they do that, they can play good basketball."
Despite the loss, St. Marys coach Kelly Fulmer was positive about the Roughriders' performance.
"Our goal was to stay close in the first half and we were able to come out in the second half and play with fresh legs and use our pressure to get back into the game," said Fulmer. "We are starting to understand that each possession counts and we are building towards that. Overall we are very proud of the way we played today, with a lot of heart and hustle."
Coldwater returns home on Thursday for Midwest Athletic Conference play against Fort Recovery while St. Marys hits the road on Thursday for a Western Buckeye League encounter against Defiance.
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