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COLDWATER – The odds were against the New Bremen Cardinals basketball team Friday night in the Division IV sectional championship at the Palace in Coldwater. They were without their head coach Adam Dougherty, who was sitting out the second game of his suspension from being ejected from the Delphos St. John’s game two weeks ago, and they had a 13-day layoff since their last game.
The Cardinals didn’t let the obstacles get in their way as they used a big third quarter run to defeat the Marion Local Flyers 53-45 for the sectional title.
The Cardinals will travel to the Elida Fieldhouse next Tuesday to face the Delphos St. John’s Blue Jays in a regular season rematch at 6:15 p.m.. Delphos St. John’s defeated Lincolnview 59-40 in their sectional final. St. Henry will face the Crestview Knights. The Knights defeated Ottoville 48-35 on Friday night.
Carson and Parker Manger led the Cardinals with 13 points each, while Marion Local was led by Luke Knapke with 13 points and Dustin Rethman with 11 points.
The Flyers end their season at 11-13.
“You have to give New Bremen a lot of credit,” Flyers head coach Kurt Goettemoeller said. “They had a lot of things going against them coming into this game. They didn’t have their coach and a 13 day layoff and being a number one seed we had a game experience, but they didn’t let that bother them. You give their kids a lot of credit because they made the plays to win the game.”
Going into the second half the Cardinals had a slim 23-21 lead, but in the first minute Ben Homan made a three-point play to increase their lead to 26-21 and on the next Flyer drive Ryan Bruns in called for a charging foul.
“We came in the locker room at halftime and there was no yelling and the kids said we were not playing our ball,” Cardinals assistant head coach Dane Cook said. “We are not playing solid defense or rebounding the ball or running our stuff and in the second half that is what we did.”
After a missed three by New Bremen, Marion Local’s Adam Bertke and New Bremen’s Justin Heitkamp traded baskets. Knapke hit a basket and Dustin Seitz nailed a three to tie the game at 28-all with 2:55 left.
New Bremen then took control of the game.
Alex Speelman hits a pair of free throws for the Cardinals and Parker Manger nailed a 3-pointer for a 33-28 lead. The Cardinals never trailed again and led 39-28 after three quarters.
Marion Local outscored the Cardinals 17-14 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough.
“I thought we should have been leading at halftime tonight,” Goettemoeller said. “Some of our first half turnovers were unforced. We were only down two at half but I thought we should have had the lead. We go dry in spots and I thought our defense was good enough to win but in a stretch of time we go only scoring two, three or four points and that is what happened tonight. They defended us well but we missed a lot of easy shots.”
The first quarter saw New Bremen jump out to a 5-0 lead on a triple from Carson Manger and a two from Luke Schwieterman.Marion Local came back to trail only 14-13 after eight minutes of play.
“I think after the first quarter we decided we were going to rebound the basketball,” Cook said. “Coach Goettemoeller did a great job of getting his kids ready and early on they were more physical than we were. “
In the second quarter Marion Local gained a 15-14 lead on a basket by Dustin Rethman with 6:51 left and expanded it to 19-14 with five minutes left causing a Cardinal timeout. After the timeout, New Bremen started a comeback with a basket from Heitkamp and two free throws from Parker Manger and they regained the lead on a trey from Carson Manger. Parker Manger scored a basket with two minutes left and Marion Local’s Seitz hit a basket to get the Flyers to within 23-21 at halftime.
“I think there were two things that made the difference in the game,” Goettemoeller said. “One was their depth. They had their backups come in just to give guys rest when they were in foul trouble and we don’t have that depth yet because we are so young and second in all five positions they are stronger than we are. Their stronger bodies against our younger guys just wore on us in the end.”
ST. HENRY 59, NEW KNOXVILLE 42
COLDWATER — The St. Henry Redskins used a big second half and 28 points from Kyle Stahl to defeat the New Knoxville Rangers 59-42 in a Division IV sectional final at Coldwater on Friday night.
The Rangers end their season at 12-12.
New Knoxville went into the second half trailing just 25-19 got a couple steals baskets to get within 25-21 before Stahl took over. Stahl, a 6-foot-5 senior, made 12 baskets on his way to the game-high 28 points.
“That is why St. Henry is the number four team in the state,” Rangers head coach Kort Fledderjohann said. “They have good physical seniors on the floor and (Kyle) Stahl is alert. We talked all year about our challenges and we have to find a niche and spread the defense apart and shoot the ball. Their defense was great tonight and without a big guy inside there is only a few things we can do to hide that.”
Jake Allen led New Knoxville with 14 points.
In the third quarter the difference for St. Henry came on back to back treys by Jordan Bender with two minutes left to extend the lead to 42-31.
“That was the dagger for us,” Fledderjohann said. “We close to within five and those two treys started the beginning of the end for us.”
St. Henry started the game on a big run for a 16-3 lead with 1:53 left causing a Ranger timeout.
After the timeout, the Rangers started to chip away at the deficit closing the lead to 15-9 after eight minutes of play. Neither team could break away as each team scored 10 points in the second quarter to make the halftime lead 25-19.
“They got off to a great start at 16-3,” Fledderjohann said. “We chipped away and got it back to five but we couldn’t get them one or two more stops. We just need to learn how to stop runs.”