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Wednesday, February 06, 2013 2:22 PM

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DELPHOS — The St. John’s girls cagers used their interior strength to shoot 55.3 percent from the floor in dispatching visiting Paulding 52-34 in non-league action Monday night inside Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.

Senior Katie Vorst led the Lady Blue Jays (8-10) with 15 points, six boards and three assists, while junior Emilie Fischbach hit three treys en route to nine markers. The Jays shot 21-of-38 from the floor, 5-of-15 beyond the arc.

“We felt Katie and (freshman) Sydney (Fischbach) had an advantage inside and they were both active and aggressive. They were most effective when we moved the ball well, as we did at times tonight,” Jays’ mentor Dan. J. Grothouse asserted. “We did a decent job of getting the ball inside and those two did a nice job of either scoring or kicking it back out for open shots.” For the Lady Panthers (4-15), junior Sierra McCullough and junior Abby Pease had nine apiece as they canned 13-of-34 shots (1-of-8 3-pointers) for 38.2 percent.

“We couldn’t match up with them inside. Our tallest girl is 5-9 and we physically couldn’t match up; we didn’t have the help-side defense we needed,” Panther head coach Lyndsi Schultz explained. “That’s why we went zone when we did, trying to contain them inside and hoping they weren’t hitting from the outside. You have to pick your poison a little bit when you’re in our situation; they hit some threes and that was that.”
The Jays led from start to finish, once Vorst powered in a deuce 31 ticks into the contest. In fact, Vorst scored eight of the team’s 12 points in the opening period as both squads ran deliberate offenses against the other’s man-to-man defensive schemes. Pease scored the first points for the Panthers at 6:12. When junior Amanda Boberg hit a 19-footer from the left wing with 46 ticks on the clock, the Blue and Gold led 12-5.
The hosts hit 6-of-11 shots in the canto versus 1-of-4 for the visitors, forcing four of their 11 turnovers as the Panthers struggled to get many open looks against the Blue Jay defense.

Paulding had a better go of it in quarter 2, with six players getting at least a point in the period, in netting 4-of-11. However, the Jays had a bit better go of it, even when the Panthers switched to a 1-2-2 zone that they extended some full-court. The Jays led by 10 twice in the stanza — at 22-12 (deuce by freshman Sydney Fischbach) and 25-15 (3-ball by senior Casey Schnipke) with 45 ticks on the board. However, the guests’ Pease put back a third-chance opportunity with 18 ticks remaining to get them within 25-17 at the half.

The trend of the game continued into the third quarter: the Panthers did OK but the Jays were better. Pease, McCullough and sophomore Brooke Combs scored baskets for the visitors, while Emilie Fischbach drilled a pair of treys against the Panther zone and Vorst and junior Erica Saine netted three markers each. Jays led 37-21 on a Fischbach bomb at 1:11 but McCullough dropped a 19-footer from the left side with a tick left for a 37-23 edge.

The Jays’ lead never fell below 10 and reached as high as the final margin as the benches emptied as the quarter went on. Six Jays (led by Vorst’s 4) scored at least a point, while McCullough and senior Abbey Edwards (4 assists) led the Panthers with four each.
“Defensively, we did a decent job overall,” Grothouse added. “We had a couple of breakdowns but generally, we played solid team defense. We had good help-side and didn’t give up many easy looks.” In toto, Paulding dropped in 7-of-13 singles (53.8%); secured 22 caroms, 10 offensive, as McCullough and Pease nabbed four each; and eight fouls. They entertain Northwest Conference foe Lincolnview Thursday.

“We’ve been averaging around 22 turnovers a game, so we’ll take that any time; that’s our best effort of the season,” Schultz added. “We also have scored under 20 a few times this year, so we’ll take 34 at any time. We’ve been keeping games close but, as tonight, teams pull away at the end.”

St. John’s counted 5-of-7 freebies (71.4%); secured 20 off the glass (7 offensive) as Sydney Fischbach (3 dimes) added six; and 10 miscues and 12 fouls. They host Versailles Thursday in the Midwest Athletic Conference.
In the junior varsity contest, the Jays outscored the Panthers 17-7 in the final period for a 29-22 win.
Sophomore Halie Benavidez topped the Lady Jays (7-10) with nine counters.
Freshman Jaycie Varner led the Lady Panthers (1-19) with nine.

Abbey Edwards 2-2-6, Sierra McCullough 4-0-9, Jerika Bland 0-2-2, Brooke Combs 2-0-4, Alesha Simon 0-0-0, Abby Pease 4-1-9, Suzanne Reinhart 0-2-2, Sarah Nardone 1-0-2, Samantha Martinez 0-0-0, Jaycie Varner 0-0-0, Samantha Meggison 0-0-0. Totals 12-1-7/13-34.
ST. JOHN’S (52)
Tara Vorst 0-0-0, Emilie Fischbach 3-0-9, Brooke Zuber 2-0-4, Rebekah Fischer 0-0-0, Katie Vorst 6-3-15, Erica Saine 2-0-5, Amanda Boberg 2-1-5, Casey Schnipke 3-0-7, Sydney Fischbach 3-1-7, Rachel Pohlman 0-0-0, Samantha Wehri 0-0-0. Totals 16-5-5/7-43.
Score by Quarters:
Paulding     5 12   6 11 - 34
St. John’s 12 13 12 15 - 52
Three-point goals: Paulding, McCullough; St. John’s, E. Fischbach 3, Saine, Schnipke.
Jaycie Varner 2-5-9, Taylor Manz 0-0-0, Stephanie Hawkins 0-0-0, Samantha Meggison 0-2-2, Tori Bradford 0-0-0, Alesha Simon 2-3-7, Samantha Martinez 2-0-4. Totals 6-0-10/19-22.
ST. JOHN’S (29)
Rachel Pohlman 2-0-5, Emilie Grothouse 1-0-3, Olivia Kahny 1-0-2, Maddie Pohlman 0-0-0, Ashlyn Troyer 1-0-2, Halie Benavidez 2-5-9, Sam Kramer 1-0-2, Samantha Wehri 1-3-5, Colleen Schulte 0-1-1. Totals 7-2-9/17-29.
Score by Quarters:
Paulding     2  7  6  7 - 22
St. John’s   6  3  3 17 - 29
Three-point goals: Paulding, none; St. John’s, R. Pohlman, Grothouse.


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