Thursday, February 18th, 2021
Good shooting lifts Roughriders past Bulldogs
By Gary R. Rasberry
Celina's Carley Eichler tries to corral the ball as St. Marys' Kendall Dieringer. . .
ST. MARYS - The old Jerry Reed song goes "When you're hot, you're hot."
St. Marys was hot when it came to putting the ball in the bucket.
The Roughriders missed just two shots in the first quarter, shot 67% from the floor in the first half and never looked back, beating Celina 56-33 in the Division II girls basketball sectional opener at Grand Lake Health System Court in St. Marys on Wednesday.
The win sends St. Marys (17-5) to the sectional final on Saturday where they face Bryan for the second time this season. The two teams met in Bryan on Jan. 23 with the Roughriders getting a 46-39 win over the Golden Bears.
Celina (2-19) and St. Marys met just a week ago in the regular season and Western Buckeye League finale with St. Marys getting a 48-25 victory in the Battle of Grand Lake.
Unlike the first meeting, where St. Marys needed some time to warm up, the Roughriders were firing on all cylinders from the get-go. A Noelle Ruane bucket with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter started a 10-0 run that gave St. Marys a 15-3 lead before Maria Lutz stopped the run with a free throw, and the Roughriders finished the first quarter on a 9-4 run to go up 24-8.
St. Marys took 12 shots in the quarter and hit 10, with the two misses turning into offensive rebounds that led to second-chance buckets. Cora Rable scored all 10 of her points in the first eight minutes.
"We were shooting the ball well," said St. Marys coach Jon Burke. "We were moving the ball well and getting into the paint. Cora hit some big shots in the first quarter. Kendall Dieringer had some nice shots and Noey (Ruane) was able to get the ball in the basket."
"They made a lot of shots in the first quarter and we got out to a slow start," said Celina coach Branden Rushton. "I think we played better after that, but climbing out of that hole against a good team is tough."
The beat went on in the second quarter as Dieringer scored nine of the 12 points for St. Marys in the second quarter. When the horn sounded, St. Marys was up 36-13 at the half and had made 14-of-21 from the floor.
Celina had some good looks in the first half but couldn't buy a bucket, shooting just 4-of-20 while committing nine turnovers as the Roughrider defensive pressure converted turnovers into points.
"We got the looks we wanted and executed on offense. It just wasn't our night," said Rushton. "Ball wasn't bouncing our way."
With Burke subbing more players in the late third quarter and fourth quarter, the shooting cooled ever so slightly. In the end, St. Marys was 21-of-38 from the floor (55.3%) and 8-of-14 from the 3-point line.
"Very happy with the efficiency of our offense," said Burke. That's something we've been working on."
Dieringer finished her night 8-of-8 from the floor for 21 points. Ruane added nine points.
Taylor Klingshirn led Celina with eight points. Kyilla Billingsley added seven points and nine rebounds.
Now the Roughriders prepare for their rematch at Bryan.
"Saturday is going to be a tough matchup," said Burke. "Bryan matches up with us well. They're a good team. We went there and beat them the first time and it's tough to beat a team twice."