COLDWATER — The four teams left in the Division IV girls sectional bracket at Coldwater have a combined record of 64-18, and all four teams received votes at some point this season in the Associated Press’ state poll.
That makes for a fun Saturday night at The Palace.
New Knoxville jumped out to an early lead against New Bremen and maintained a double-digit distance in a 51-32 victory in the second game on Tuesday night.
The Rangers (18-3) move on to play top-seeded Marion Local (17-3) on Saturday in the second game at Coldwater in a game that will match up teams with 17 or more wins.
Fort Recovery survived a 49-48 game against St. Henry in the opening contest to set up a meeting with second-seeded Minster (14-6) on Saturday night at 6:15 p.m.
NEW KNOXVILLE 51, NEW BREMEN 32
New Knoxville’s Tiana Heidt scored a team-high 13 points and Paige Lehman added 12 points for a Ranger squad that eclipsed its win total from a season ago with its 18th victory.
The Rangers opened the game on a 10-2 run and never trailed against their Auglaize County foes.
New Knoxville head coach Tim Hegemier said his team all season has played well early in games.
“They’re ready to go and they’re on their toes,” Hegemier said. “Once they get that 10-12 point lead they relax a little bit, but give Bremen credit because every open shot we gave them, they put it in.
New Bremen bowed out of the tournament at 7-14 despite shooting 45 percent from the floor.
“Every time we left them open, they put it in,” Hegemier said. “New Bremen played a good game.”
Meagan Brandt led New Bremen with nine points on a 3-for-6 performance from three-point range. Hannah Holdren added eight points.
New Bremen head coach Randy Eckert liked his team’s fight despite playing without its top scorer Kyla Otting and facing a New Knoxville team that had a considerable size advantage inside.
“Despite losing by 19 points and I’m disappointed the season is over, but I was happy with the way we played,” Eckert said. “They don’t give up. We were out-manned height-wise and everything like that. The rotation was off.”
New Knoxville now plays Marion Local, a Flyer team that swept through the MAC season at 9-0.
The Flyers defeated New Knoxville 38-28 in the first meeting between the teams.
FORT RECOVERY 49, ST. HENRY 48
In the opening game on Tuesday, Fort Recovery held off a feisty St. Henry team that stayed with the Indians step-for-step until the end.
Janelle Schwieterman banked in a three-pointer for Fort Recovery with 2:35 left in the game to give the Indians the lead for good at 43-42.
St. Henry’s Kelly Siefring’s lay-up with 7.5 seconds left cut the Fort Recovery lead to 49-48, but St. Henry couldn’t get an Indian fouled for six seconds. Fort Recovery’s Kelly Nietfeld missed both free throws, but St. Henry couldn’t get off a shot after securing the rebound with just a second left.
Nietfeld led Fort Recovery with 14 points in the game.
St. Henry ended the season on a six-game losing streak and finished the season 8-13. The Redskins lost six games this season by five or fewer points.
Stacy Lange paced the Redskins with 13 points.
Fort Recovery improved to 15-6 and will now face Minster.
New Bremen vs. New Knoxville Girls Basketball Photos: