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MAC Boys Basketball Game of the Week - New Bremen at St. Henry

January 31, 2013
Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC)

With their victory on the road against Delphos St. John’s last Friday night, the St. Henry Redskins positioned themselves all alone into the top spot of the Midwest Athletic Conference standings, but head coach Eric Rosenbeck points out there is little time to relax. “There is no sense of relief because we are battling for the top seed and bye going into tournament - Fort Recovery only has two losses and New Bremen has just three,” he explained. “If we get knocked off this weekend, the debate will heat up as to who the top seed in our sectional tournament should be. We need to worry about us and continue to get better while protecting our home court in the league.”

Last weekend, the Redskins jumped out to an early lead against St. John’s, fought off a late rally and held on to record the 71-57 victory for their tenth straight win. St. Henry is led in scoring and rebounding by Kyle Stahl’s 19.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, with Ryan Mikesell adding 13.5 and 6.2 each contest. While Stahl/Mikesell combo, along with senior Alex Post (10.1 ppg), has been St. Henry’s power all season, Rosenbeck doesn’t hesitate to acknowledge a few others who have added to the punch in recent weeks. “Kent Hemmelgarn has been playing really good basketball lately, and Jordan Bender continues to step up when called upon,” he remarked. “While Jesse Evers hasn't scored a whole lot, he has really given us some stability on the defensive end while contributing when his number is called.”

Last Friday evening, New Bremen hosted the New Knoxville Rangers and walked away with a 12-point win, which moved them to 5-1 in the MAC - one of two teams a game back from the Redskins. The win over the Rangers pushed the Cards to 13-2 overall, but a loss to 14-2 Jackson Center the next night killed their nine-game winning streak. “A win at St. Henry would be really nice, but we just want to keep getting better,” commented Cardinal head coach Adam Dougherty. “We go over there with the understanding that it is a huge game, but a win does not make our season and a loss does not end our season. We want to go there Friday, play well and compete hard.”

The Cardinals have been on a tear this season, led by Carson Manger’s 14.7 points and three assists per game. Luke Schwieterman drops an 11.6 point-average and 3.8 assists every contest, while Justin Heitkamp and Ben Homan connect for 9.4 and 9.1 points per game, respectively. “New Bremen is an unreal offensive rebounding team who plays as hard as any team in the M.A.C. They match up well with us - we need to focus on offensive rebounding and moving the ball on offense - they are terrific with help side and challenging all shots at the rim.”

Coach Dougherty feels there are several keys to success for his squad on Friday. “We have to play with poise and toughness, and to go on the road and be successful - we must be sound defensively and take care of the ball on the other end,” he explained. “St. Henry does an excellent job of sharing and moving the ball - they get a lot of easy looks thanks to their movement and passing abilities. We have to be extremely sound defensively on Friday. Our kids are excited for the opportunity. It is not every night you get to play the number-one team in the state for a chance to get back into the league race.”

by Robb Hemmelgarn

Tags Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) • Publisher
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