|LadyCats survive vs. St. John’s|
|Wednesday, February 13, 2013 5:03 PM|
The other way was that defenses ruled the day and made it difficult for the offenses to get any clean looks. As usual, somewhere in the middle was the reality as the LadyCats survived a 29-23 victory over the Lady Blue Jays at The Wildcat Den.
The stats don’t lie: the Blue Jays (8-13) canned a cold 9-of-35 shots (2-of-14 downtown) for 25.7 percent versus Kalida’s full-court trapping defense and man half-court scheme versus a slightly “warmer” 10-of-35 for the LadyCats (13-7), including 5-of-17 3-balls, for 28.6 percent against the Jays’ man-to-man.
“We continue to struggle with confidence, not only in ourselves but in our teammates. We just don’t seem to trust each other right in what we’re doing,” Jays mentor Dan J. Grothouse noted. “We need to keep working at that but it’s been a struggle all season with that. You have to play with confidence on offense, not only with what you’re doing with the ball but in believing in your teammates. Simply put, you have to have more than three score.”
For Kalida coach Adam Huber, it was survival.
“We might have been emotionally drained after a big league win versus Leipsic Saturday; it so, we have to be able to bounce back better,” Huber explained. “You just know St. John’s is going to come in, play hard and make things tough for you; they are too well-prepared defensively. We didn’t get much going consistently at the offensive end. At best, we managed to survive.”
Kalida scored first at 6:01 when senior Summer Holtkamp (7 counters, 3 dimes) hit a 6-footer in the lane and she followed shortly after with another basket. The Jays, who shot a cold 1-of-9 in the period, scored their only basket at 2:50 when Recker swished a triple from the right side. Kalida, who was 3-of-11 shooting, took a 6-3 edge with 2.1 ticks left when senior Amy Smith hit a running 10-foot banker from the right side.
After the LadyCats got a 3-ball from sophomore Nicole Recker (9 markers on 3 treys) and another from sophomore Jackie Gardner (7 counters, 6 boards, 3 steals) in their first two possessions of the second period, the Jays, thanks to their defense, rallied despite the offense only getting three shots. Recker canned a deuce at 5:51, Vorst two singles at 4:00 and Recker a long ball from the right wing at 1:59 to get within 12-10. Kalida closed the half up 14-10 courtesy of a baseline 12-footer from junior Elizabeth Turnwald at 26 seconds.
The third period saw the offenses fall all but silent. The Jays were 2-of-12 versus Kalida’s 1-of-9. The only scores came at 4:36 — Vorst inside; Kalida freshman Kylie Osterhage on a putback at 3:20; and Fischbach on a transition layin at the 12-second mark; to make the score 16-14, Kalida.
Fischbach took a high-low lob from Vorst for a deuce to tie the contest at 16 with 6:39 showing. However, the LadyCats hit three treys on their next four possessions: Holtkamp at 5:03 and Recker at 4:09 and 3:20; around a Vorst power-dribble basket at 3:38; to put the Maroon and White up 25-18. That forced the Jays to start fouling in this cleanly-played game — up to that point. Kalida managed to hit 4-of-8 singles in the final 1:52 (4-of-10 overall for 40%) around five markers from Vorst to close the game.
In toto, St. John’s was a perfect 3-of-3 on free throws; nabbed 25 caroms (7 offensive) as junior Emilie Fischbach added six; and amassed 13 turnovers and 15 fouls. They visit New Bremen Thursday to close the regular season. “We play our butts off defensively; we do everything we can to hold teams down. We got hurt tonight rebounding, giving up too many second shots,” Grothouse added. “Unfortunately, we’re not rewarding ourselves on the other end. It’s frustrating to play so hard on one end and not take advantage at the other.” Kalida ended up with 29 boards, 10 offensive, as Smith had seven; 14 miscues; and nine fouls. They host Continental Thursday.
“Both teams played awfully hard defensively; nothing was easy. We both pride ourselves on that fact,” Huber added. “We got senior Julia Vandemark back a week ago against Holgate from an injury. She has played in three games and has extended her minutes each time as she gets in better shape. She gives us experienced leadership and another ballhandler. When everyone else now has tired legs and is banged up, she brings fresh legs.”
In junior varsity action, Kalida outscored St. John’s 7-4 in overtime to grab a 30-27 triumph.