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Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Cavaliers and Redskins get bounced from postseason

Division III Boys Sectional at Wapakoneta

By Mark Ruschau

Coldwater's Eric Lefeld, middle, is pressured by a pair of Delphos Jefferson def. . .

WAPAKONETA - It was a very long night for Midwest Athletic Conference boys basketball teams on Friday night at the Division III sectional at Wapakoneta High School as the Coldwater Cavaliers and the St. Henry Redskins saw their respective campaigns come to an end.
In the opener, the Delphos Jefferson Wildcats used a great defensive effort and some late offense to defeat the number-one seeded Cavaliers, 43-41. In the nightcap, the second-seeded Lima Central Catholic T-Birds used a great second half of defense to defeat the Redskins, 61-48.
Jefferson moves on to district play at the Elida Fieldhouse next Thursday at 8 p.m. against the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans while Coldwater bows out of the postseason with a 15-6 mark. Lima Central Catholic will take a 17-4 record to district play at Elida where they will play the top-ranked team in the state, Liberty-Benton, in the opener on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.
Jefferson 43, Coldwater 41  
It looked early in game one that Coldwater would have its way against Jefferson as the Cavaliers hit their first five shots and added a free throw to take an early 11-3 lead in the first two and a half minutes.
After a timeout, Jefferson held Coldwater to just seven points over the remainder of the first half and the Wildcats were able to cut the deficit to 18-16 at the half. In the final 14 minutes of the first half, Coldwater hit on just three-of-seven shots and turned the ball over six times.
"I wish I had an idea as to why the offense struggled like it did," said Coldwater coach Mike Kanney. "We could not get Eric (Lefeld) going inside and they did a good job of forcing us into turnovers. Delphos played well on both ends and we could of played better and that was the story of the game."
Despite its struggles on offense, Coldwater took a two-point lead, 27-25, into the final period.
Jefferson took its first lead of the night, 28-27, on a three-point play by Craig Carder. The teams exchanged baskets, before Tim Brunet hit two free throws to give Coldwater a 31-30 lead with 5:26 left.
After a Jefferson timeout, the Wildcats retook the lead, 36-31, as Nick Dunlap and Carder each canned a trifecta on back-to-back possessions. Coldwater quickly retied the game at 36-all, as Luke Grieshop hit a runner in the lane with 4:22 left and Reese Klenke canned a three with 3:45 left.
After a Jefferson timeout and a turnover on its ensuing trip, Klenke stuck back an Austin Bruns miss to give Coldwater a 38-36 lead. Jefferson retook the lead, 39-36, on their next trip as Carder canned a three-pointer with 2:47 left.
Coldwater took its last lead of the night as Brunet hit a lay-in with 91 seconds left and Bruns hit one-of-two free throws with 51 seconds left.
Jefferson took the lead for good on another three-point shot from Dunlap with 29 seconds left.
After the Cavaliers worked the clock to just 22 seconds remaining, they called timeout to set up a last play. However, Coldwater never got the shot off, turning the ball over to Dunlap who was fouled with six seconds left. Dunlap hit one-of-two free throws and Coldwater's last chance at the win by Keith Wenning came up short.
"We knew that Dunlap was a good shooter and that he could hit those kind of shots if you left him open, and somehow we left him unguarded and give him credit, he knocked them down," said Kanney. "Delphos did a nice job of executing their offense and they made some big plays when they had to."
LCC 61, St. Henry 46
Like Coldwater, St. Henry came out early and played well in game two, jumping out to 14-7 lead at the end of the first period and held a 28-21 advantage at the half. The Redskins hit on 10-of-24 shots from the field, including four-of-nine from three-point range, in the first half. Jordan Post, Zach Fishbaugh and Vic Fortkamp led the way offensively with seven points each.
St. Henry did a fine job on the defensive end as well in the first half as it held the Thunderbirds to just 9-of-28 shooting.
"We thought we moved the ball well in the first half and we were able to get the ball inside a decent amount, but not as much as we would of liked," said St. Henry coach Eric Rosenbeck. "In the first half we were four-of-nine from beyond the arc and you have to give credit to LCC and their pressure defense for how they responded."
The Thunderbirds came out strong to start the second half, going on an 11-2 run in the first few minutes to take their first lead of the game, 32-31, on a lay in by Jon Steiger with 3:44 left in the third quarter.
After Kyle Stahl scored inside to give St. Henry the lead back at 33-31, LCC closed the period on a 7-3 spurt to take the lead for good, 39-36.
"In the second half we started to get away from the things we talked about offensively and things got away from us a little," said Rosenbeck. "We did not set enough screens, we stopped penetrating to the basket... We were just not fluid and you have to give them credit for that. In the first half we had our way with them and I am sure that they got a talking to about what tournament basketball is all about and they came out in the second half and took it too us."
LCC was able to hold off St. Henry in the final period, connecting on 18-of-22 from the free-throw line, including eight-for-eight by Billy Taflinger.
Fortkamp led the way for St. Henry, scoring 17 points and grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds while Jordan Post added 11 points.
Taflinger led three T-Birds in double figures with 14 points, Krieg added 11 and Steiger chipped in 10 points.
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