BOYS BASKETBALL: New Bremen's balanced attack downs St. Marys

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NEW BREMEN — The New Bremen Cardinals put together a winning 10-deep effort against the St. Marys Roughriders.

New Bremen put nine players in the scorebook and went on a 9-0 spurt late in the third quarter to take control of a 65-58 win against St. Marys.

This senior-laden Cardinal group is fast becoming a confident bunch, with six players coming into the night averaging six or more points per game.

“We’re balanced,” New Bremen head coach Adam Dougherty said. “We’ve got a bunch of kids who can play and a bunch of kids who can contribute. That’s one of the reasons we’re playing so well because I think it’s hard to match up with balance. You key on one thing and it’s something else.”

New Bremen senior guard Aaron Clune scored a team-high 16 points for New Bremen, which won its third straight game and is now 4-1 on the season.  The Cardinals won just seven games all of last season.

“Bremen plays hard,” St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier said. “They come out and they’re aggressive. They had kids come off the bench who really hurt us bad.”

Derek Bornhorst added 12 points and Elliott Westerbeck had 11 points off the bench.

New Bremen’s fresh legs paid dividends late in the third quarter, when the Cardinals went on a 9-0 run to take a lead they’d never relinquish.

“They scored 39 points on us in the second half,” Hegemier said. “That’s not good.”

After St. Marys (2-4) took a 39-38 lead when D.J. Manning hit a basket and drew a foul, New Bremen attacked the basket.

Parker Manger hit a pair of free throws and then followed it up with a three-point play on the next possession. Aaron Clune hit a runner Bornhorst hit two free throws to put New Bremen up 46-38.

The Cardinals’  balanced offensive attack overcame big nights from a pair of Roughriders. J.D. Meyer scored a game-high 23 points, with 16 of those coming in the first half.

Garet Fledderjohann drained four 3-pointers and added 19 points for the Riders.

St. Marys got to within three points two times in the fourth quarter, but New Bremen drew fouls and made free throws. The Cardinals went 7-for-11 from the charity stripe in the fourth.

Elliott Westerbeck gave the Cardinals a jolt of energy midway through the first quarter, as he hit three baskets. He’s the personification of what has gone right early for the Cardinals with an unselfish attitude and balance.

“We bring four guys off the bench who could start for us,” Dougherty said. “Elliott started a year ago and he’s accepted his role. That’s a big key to our success — kids accepting their role and doing what we ask of them. It’s probably not easy for him, but he doesn’t let me know it’s not easy for him.”

St. Marys fell behind 16-8 in the first quarter and trailed 22-15 early in the second quarter before a  10-0 run knotted things up. During the run, Meyer scored eight straight points at one point when he got a putback, hit a three-pointer and then had a three-point play.

The 6-foot-6 senior gave New Bremen fits in the first half, scoring 16 points and blocking five shots in the game’s first 16 minutes. He had seven points in the second half.

“We struggled with him in the first half,” Dougherty said. “It wasn’t so much what we did inside on him. It was that we guarded their guards better. We made it tougher for them to get into their offense.”

Meyer went 8-for-18 from the floor on the night.

“We were happy with the way we got him the ball in the first half and then we didn’t get it to him in the third quarter. Our passing wasn’t good enough,” Hegemier said.

Hegemier said Meyer is playing through a wrist injury. Meyer’s left wrist was taped.

New Bremen’s Derek Bornhorst, who had entered the night struggling from beyond the three-point arc at a 24 percent clip, hit 3-of-6 from long distance.

“When he shoots it with confidence and steps into it with authority, he’s a really good shooter,” Dougherty said. “We dont’ want him to stop shooting.”

The 58 points for the Riders area  season-high. St. Marys scored 57 points in a loss to St. Henry.

The loss snaps St. Marys’ two-game winning streak. St. Marys plays in the Parkway holiday tournament next Thursday and Friday night.

New Bremen has won four of the last five meetings against the Roughriders.