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Wednesday, March 06, 2013 1:25 PM

St. Henry eliminates
Crestview 61-51
By JIM COX
DHI Correspondent
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ELIDA - In a game that was as even as it could be for 26 minutes, St. Henry pulled away in the last six to top Crestview 61-51 in Tuesday night’s second district semifinal.

That sets up a final matchup of Midwest Athletic Conference co-champs St. Henry (22-3) and St. John’s Friday night at 7 p.m.
Crestview’s fantastic season ends at 20-4.

Crestview tied it at 35-35 on a Preston Zaleski steal and layup with 41 seconds left in the third quarter but the Redskins’ 6-5 sophomore point guard Ryan Mikesell tipped one in at the buzzer to give St. Henry a 37-35 lead after three.

After the Skins’ superstar Kyle Stahl put in a nifty 10-foot spinner to up the lead to 39-35, Crestview’s Damian Helm did likewise, the first of his four fourth-quarter field goals, but that 2-point margin was as close as the Knights would get.

Helm challenged the powerful Redskin front line for those four buckets and, along with Cam Etzler’s 6-of-8 free throws, kept Crestview within 4-8 points until the last minute when Redskin free throws salted it away.

St. Henry hit 11-of-15 freebies and 6-of-8 fielders in the final eight minutes.

Crestview led much of the first quarter but Mikesell swished a 3-pointer from the left wing with four seconds left to give St. Henry a 15-14 lead after one, Stahl having scored eight points on a variety of inside moves, including shots with either hand.

The roles were reversed in the second period as the ’Skins led throughout until Zaleski nailed a triple from the right wing at the 1:15 mark to put the Knights up 23-22.

Nobody scored after that, leaving Crestview with a one-point lead at the break.

There were four ties and one lead change in the third period, during which neither team led by more than four. Stahl added nine points to his total during those eight minutes.

St. Henry was a bit better in all four major statistical categories. The Redskins outshot the Knights from the field 50 percent (23-of-46) to 43 percent (19-of-44) — and from the line 71 percent (12-of-17) to 63 percent (12-of-19). St. Henry won the boards 29-26 and had one less turnover, 9-10.

Stahl had a magnificent night with 25 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. Mikesell and Jordan Bender added 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Helm, Tyson Bolenbaugh and Etzler led Crestview scoring with 17, 13 and 12, respectively. Bolenbaugh and Zaleski had eight rebounds apiece. Helm led in assists with three.

It was the final high school basketball game for Crestview seniors Josh Ream, Alex Brown and Alec Heffner.

Crestview (FG-FT-TP) (51)
Zaleski 3-7 0-1 7, Etzler 2-9 8-10 12, Lautzenheiser 0-6 0-0 0, Helm 7-10 3-3 17, Bolenbaugh 6-10 1-3 13, Ream 1-1 0-2 2, Heffner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-44 12-19 51.
St. Henry (FG-FT-TP) 61
Stahl 11-18 3-3 25, Mikesell 5-9 4-7 15, Bender 4-7 2-3 12, Post 1-5 3-4 5, Hemmelgarn 1-5 0-0 2, Schwieterman 1-2 0-0 2, Evers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-46 12-17 61.
Score by Quarters:
Crestview 14  9  12  16 - 51
St. Henry  15  7  15  24 - 61
Three-point field goals: Crestview 1 (Zaleski), St. Henry 3 (Bender 2, Mikesell).
——-
Bluffton off to best start
in school history at 5-1
By Kyle Stover
Sports information assistant
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Bluffton University baseball team is off to its best start in school history through six games after a doubleheader sweep of Muskingum University on Tuesday.

Bluffton kept the Muskingum bats in check in game one, rolling to a 4-0 victory. The Beavers broke a tie late in game two to pull away for a 9-5 win.
Ben Roeschley (Graymont, Ill./Flanagan) was dominant in his first start of the season, throwing a 7-inning complete game shutout. He allowed just seven hits and one walk while striking out three.

Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) led off with a single for the third straight game but the Beavers did not break into the scoring column until the top of the fourth. Sophomore Tyler Spalding (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) started the frame off when he was hit by a pitch. Cade Randolph (Marengo/Highland) reached on an error by Muskingum starting pitcher Justin Warrington. After Spalding and Randolph both moved up on a wild pitch, they were plated on back-to-back singles by Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) and Jeff Roth (Bellevue). A Niermann single knocked in Castro before an Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast) sacrifice fly picked up Roth to round out the scoring in the inning.

Roeschley (1-0) kept Muskingum’s offense in check the entire game, stranding runners on third base twice. He ended the game in style, striking out Muskingum’s Darren Garrett to cap off the win.

Niermann and Roth led the Beaver offense in game one, both going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Cianci and Castro each had an RBI in the victory.

Game two starter Todd Stover (Tipp City/Tippecanoe) started where Roeschley left off, setting the Muskies down 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning.

He kept Muskingum off the board until the fourth inning when the Muskies tallied four runs.

He gave up just one more run in the sixth inning, an unearned score. Stover finished his first collegiate start on the mound with six innings pitched, six hits, five runs (4 earned) and three strikeouts.

Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) threw three perfect innings of relief and picked up his first win of the year. The sophomore (1-1) struck out two in a rebound performance after his opening-day loss.

Bluffton scored quickly to start off the game as the second batter for the Beavers, Cianci, launched a solo home run. Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) followed Cianci’s blast with a double and scored later in the inning courtesy of a Muskie error.

The Beavers added a run in the second inning on an RBI single by Cianci before tacking on two more in the third, highlighted by an RBI double from Castro.
Muskingum rallied to tie the game at five in the sixth inning but Bluffton would not allow that to last for long, tallying three runs in the seventh inning to take a lead they would not relinquish. That inning opened with a single by Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison). After a groundout by David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield), Greg Franks (Smithville) smacked a double to left field, scoring Townley. A Castro double scored pinch-runner Michael Alexander (Monroe) and an RBI single by Niermann capped off the inning.

Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) singled to lead off the eighth inning and came around to score on a wild pitch, ending the scoring for the game.
The lead would be preserved the rest of the way by Schlabach’s stellar relief pitching.

Niermann, Cianci, Richardson and Castro all had two hits in the game two victory, while Franks had two RBI.

Bluffton moved to 5-1 with the pair of wins, marking the best start through six games in school history. Muskingum fell to 0-4. The Beavers now get a well-deserved day off in Florida before playing again on Thursday against Moravian College. That 9-inning game will begin at 11 a.m. in Port Charlotte, Florida.
——-
Bluffton drops two on third day of Rebel Spring Games

Kissimmee, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team saw its 4-game winning streak to start the season come to an end with a pair of losses to Alvernia and Simpson on Tuesday.

A defense that had been solid during the first four games came up short this afternoon as the Beavers finished the day with seven errors, including five in a 9-6 loss to Simpson.

Alvernia put up two unearned runs in the third inning of game one, marking the first time this season that Bluffton trailed in a game. The Crusaders, who went 38-11 last season, took advantage of an error and an illegal pitch to push two runs across the plate in the third after coming up empty in the second despite three straight singles to open the frame.

Pinch-hitter Jo Bondra (Highland Heights/Mayfield) laced a 1-out single to left in the fifth and promptly stole second, getting into scoring position with one down. Junior Shelby Erford (Paulding) picked her up with a single to left, helping Bluffton pull within a run of Alvernia.

The Crusaders used a walk and a pair of base hits to push the lead to 3-1 in the top of the sixth. Sophomore standout Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) singled and came around to score on Mackenzie Bedlion’s (Marshallville/Smithville) base hit to right center but Alvernia shut the door in the seventh to hand the Beavers their first setback of the season.

Junior Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) had her best outing of the young season, going all seven innings and allowing three runs, just one earned, on eight hits. She struck out three and walked two. Clark was the only Beaver to finish with multiple hits in game one.

Bluffton bounced back against Simpson early in the second game of the day. Three errors by the Storm in inning one allowed the Beavers to take a quick 1-0 lead. With the score knotted 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Bluffton loaded the bases as Clark strolled to the dish. Facing Simpson ace Kacee Arey, who entered the contest just three batters prior, Clark watched the first pitch cross the plate for a called strike. Arey’s second offering was not as lucky as it found the sweet spot on Clark’s bat shortly before it landed outside the centerfield fence for her second homer of the season and a 6-2 lead over Simpson. It was Bluffton’s second grand slam of the season in just six games.

Simpson chipped away at the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth before the wheels came off for Bluffton two innings later. The Storm used two Beaver errors and three walks to parlay three hits into five runs as Simpson went up 9-6 on the strength of three unearned tallies. The home team on the scoreboard gave Bluffton hope with two miscues in the seventh but Simpson held on to keep its record spotless at 13-0.

Clark scored twice and drove in four with her grand slam. Erford scored two times and Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) went 2-of-3 at the plate. Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.) went 2-of-4 with an RBI.

Sophomore Chloe Shell (Covington) took the loss, falling to 2-1 after allowing nine runs, five earned, on nine hits in five innings of work. She walked two and struck out one batter.

The Beavers will regroup before taking the diamond at 3 p.m. this afternoon. Bluffton takes on #4 Roanoke at the Osceola Complex before facing off with Thomas More at 5 p.m.

 

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