Friday, March 13th, 2015

Redskins let threes rain down against USV in 2000

Curtain Call

By Robb Hemmelgarn
When Upper Scioto Valley faced the overwhelming task of knocking St. Henry out of the district tournament this week in 2000, their objective was simple: faceguard whom they considered the Redskins' most prolific two scoring threats, seniors Kurt Woeste and Ryan Post.
When the Rams emerged in a triangle-and-two defense on the duo, head coach Al Summers and senior Neil Schmitz couldn't help but shake their heads.
"I think they scouted us once and Kurt and Ryan were both hot, but what they didn't realize was that we had an entire team who could shoot the ball," Summers explained. "I ran an open-post offense with this group for two years when they were JV players and they were outstanding shooters. We didn't have a lot of height and knew we needed to shoot well to compete with some of the bigger teams we faced. Our thought was that we wanted to make a 3-pointer or get the easy layup and it worked out well for us."
Schmitz was left completely abandoned on one of his first trips down the court and calmly cocked back and drained a three-pointer. He then burned the USV defense for another, and another, and another. When the first quarter closed, the senior had bombed his way to 22 points, including six shots from beyond the arc, as the Redskins led 26-15. St. Henry had only fallen twice all season long, so their early cushion wasn't too shocking, but history was about to unfold over the next three quarters.
"(Assistant coach) Joe Niekamp and I questioned how long they were going to stay in that defense and it was much longer than they should have," Summers pointed out. "There were a few times during the season where we wondered what it would be like if everyone got hot on the same night, well we were about to find out."
The Rams eventually figured out that zoning Schmitz wasn't a great idea, so they tightened the clamps on him which did nothing but kick the door open for the rest of the roster. By the time the second quarter was over, Post sunk four long balls, while Woeste, Bill Gast, Todd Boeckman, and Schmitz each connected for additional shots from downtown as the Redskins were up 54-31 at halftime, finishing 14-29 from long-distance.
"I'd say we realized midway through the second quarter how special of a night we were having," commented Post. "That feeling intensified at halftime. We had a comfortable lead and started talking about it more and more."
Feeling the second half would belong to them, the Redskins dedicated the final 16 minutes to something else they wanted all for their own: the state record of 19 three-pointers in a game held by Worthington Christian.
Gast connected for another three-ball a few seconds into the third quarter and near the end of the stanza, the second of Boeckman's back-to-back threes tied the record. Within moments Post, who finished the game 7-for-8 from beyond the line, drilled one from the top of the key to claim the record.
"I'd be lying if I said we didn't know how many we had at halftime and what the state record was when the second half started," Schmitz admitted. "I remember Chad Kaiser had a wide-open breakaway lay-up and stopped to kick it out to Ryan and he nailed it. Kaiser finished the game with three 3-pointers as well, which is funny because Coach Summers normally had to tell him to stop shooting because he was missing them, but that night he had to stop because by the end of the game they were still going in!"  
The Redskins weren't finished. By the conclusion of the evening, they hit 25 long balls. Post and Schmitz had seven apiece, Gast, Boeckman and Kaiser each had three, while Brandon Dilbone and Woeste both added one in St. Henry's 106-71 victory. Woeste, who still holds St. Henry's record for three-pointers in a game with 10, ironically only connected for one on that night and he is still subject to ribbing from former teammates.
"No doubt we like to remind Kurt of his numbers from that game," Schmitz smiled. "That game definitely seems to be the one that is talked about a lot from that season. It's what we were known for all year. A bunch of six-foot-nothings running around shooting threes."
When Summers arrived at school the following morning, he was met with a surprise phone call from the sports editor at the Indianapolis Star.
"The first thing he asked me is if I knew what we accomplished the night before," remarked Summers. "I told him about setting the state record and he went on to explain that it was also the third best effort in the country all-time. The national record at the time was 32. Now THAT is a lot of 3-pointers!"  
The Redskins advanced to the Division IV state championship game before being knocked off by Fort Jennings. In a season full of special memories, the battle with USV on March 7, 2000, still resonates as one of the most unique.   
"This game was one of the special games of my senior season. It was a great team effort and everything came together for us that night," recalled Post. "It was also one of the best seasons that I ever had in my sporting career. We had all played on the same team since we were in grade school and knew where each other would be before they even got there. We were teammates, but most importantly we were all friends and we didn't care who scored, we just wanted to win. When you have that as a common goal, it makes you hard to stop."
Additional online story on this date
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