Coldwater at New Knoxville girls basketball photos:
NEW KNOXVILLE — The Rangers sped out to a big lead in the first half and then simply kept course in the second half to get back on track in Midwest Athletic Conference play on Thursday night.
The New Knoxville girls basketball team opened up a 19-point lead in the first half with an 18-0 run and defended it well in a 45-34 win over Coldwater at The Barn.
New Knoxville started its uninterrupted run of points with about 2:30 left in the first quarter when Gabbi Kuck drained a three-pointer to put the Rangers up 10-6.
The onslaught was on.
Coldwater (9-7, 3-4 MAC) didn’t score for nearly six minutes while the Rangers piled on the points during a long stretch of the first half with a string of baskets inside 10 feet.
New Knoxville cracked open Coldwater’s pressure, made baskets in transition, forced turnovers and got good looks in the half court.
“I challenged the team coming into this game to play the best defense it has played all year and to get out in transition,” New Knoxville head coach Tim Hegemier said. “If it wasn’t there, we’d pull it back and go into the half court.”
“When you spot them 15 points in the first quarter you have a lot to work on,” Coldwater head coach Nick Fisher said. “We’ve got to learn from that and not give up those situations. Our offense was so flat in the first quarter that our defense played flat. If the offense goes south, the defense can’t go with it. And that’s what seemed to happen in the first quarter.”
The Rangers (13-3, 6-2 MAC) featured a balanced scoring attack that had five players score seven more points. Paige Lehman led the way with 10 points while Haley Horstman and Meg Reineke each scored nine points. Gabbi Kuck and Haley Dillon scored seven points apiece.
New Knoxville seventh-year head coach Tim Hegemier won his 100th game as a head coach at the school. The Ranger players donned plastic novelty glasses in the shape of the number 100 after the game.
Jenae Muhlenkamp scored 11 points off the bench to lead Coldwater.