Published Friday, December 27, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:47 pm
Red Hornets top Ansley-Litchfield, 63-49

Heartland Lutheran’s offense once again led the Red Hornets to a win Friday.

Now coach Lloyd Wagnitz is hoping his team’s defense can catch up to that offense.

The Red Hornets had runs of at least eight points in three different quarters to top Ansley-Litchfield 63-49 in the first round of the Heartland Lutheran Holiday Tournament.

Wagnitz said his team’s performance was the usual mixed bag coming off the annual five-day moratorium.

"I saw some good things," he said. "We’ve just got to keep working on our defense. We just want to score.

"I want them to get into that mentality like (Grand Island) Central Catholic plays. We need to play defense. So we’ll keep working at it."

The Spartans (0-8) tied the game at 21 with 3:29 left in the first half, but Heartland Lutheran put together its 8-0 second-quarter run to pull ahead for good.

"They knocked down shots," Ansley-Litchfield coach James Habe said. "Our defense is kind of set up so if teams are going to knock down shots, we might struggle a little bit. I thought they did a pretty good job of knocking down shots.

"We got decent hands, and they were still knocking them down over us. It definitely didn’t help us when they made eight threes. But I thought we fought hard for the most part."

All of Heartland Lutheran’s starters scored at least eight points.

Freshman Jacob Simonson topped the Red Hornets (6-2) with 15 points, all coming on 3-pointers in the first half.

Devin Hueftle recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Grant Suchanek added 12 points, Jon Simonson had nine points and seven assists, and Noah Messersmith chipped in eight points.

Brady Rohde led Ansley-Litchfield with 11 points, but he needed to shoot 19 times to get that total.

Wagnitz said the Red Hornets played good help defense.

"We were just trying to protect the lane," he said. "We said if they’re going to beat us, let’s see if they can beat us from outside. We didn’t want anything in the lane.

"At times we did well, at times we didn’t."

Heartland Lutheran faces the Grand Island Central Catholic junior varsity in Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. championship game. The Crusaders edged Giltner 38-33.

"We’re going to have to play offense," Wagnitz said. "Central Catholic always has great defense. It’ll be good for us to see what we can do.

"Our offense is very good. We have to see if we can play under pressure. That’s what I’m really focused on."

Ansley-Litchfield and Gilter face off in the 2:30 p.m. consolation game.

Ansley-Litchfield ........................... 11 12 14 12—49
Heartland Lutheran ....................... 13 18 15 17—63

ANSLEY-LITCHFIELD (0-8): Shoemaker 3-7 1-1 7, Schrock 2-8 1-2 6, Unick 4-9 0-0 8, L. Rohde 4-6 2-3 9, B. Rohde 5-19 0-0 11, Scott 3-6 0-0 6, Hogg 0-1 0-0 0, Hawkins 0-1 0-0 0, Marsh 0-3 0-0 0, Kohls 0-1 2-4 2. Totals 21-61 6-10 49.

HEARTLAND LUTHERAN (6-2): Ja. Simonson 5-10 0-2 15, Messersmith 4-7 0-2 8, Jon Simonson 4-8 0-0 9, Suchanek 5-14 1-3 12, Hueftle 7-10 0-0 14, Splattstoesser 0-0 0-0 0, Warneke 1-2 0-0 2, Koch 0-0 0-0 0, Dreher 0-0 0-0 0, Sanders 1-2 0-0 3, Zapata 0-1 0-2 0, Probasco 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-54 1-9 63.

3-point field goals—AL 2-15 (Shoemaker 0-2, Schrock 1-4, Unick 0-4, Hogg 0-1, B. Rohde 1-4), HL 8-19 (Ja. Simonson 5-9, Warneke 0-1, Jon Simonson 1-3, Sanders 1-1, Suchanek 1-5). Fouled out—Unick. Rebounds—AL 37 (L. Rohde 7), HL 38 (Hueftle 14). Assists—AL 7, HL 16 (Jon Simonson 7). Turnovers—AL 13, HL 14. Total fouls—AL 14, HL 11. Technicals—none.


Class D-2 No. 2-rated Giltner transformed more turnovers in points in the third quarter to pull away for a 65-35 win over Heartland Lutheran Friday.

The Hornets only scored 13 points in the first quarter despite forcing 13 turnovers in the first round of the Heartland Lutheran Holiday Tournament.

But Giltner (6-1) forced 16 turnovers in the third quarter while scoring 26 points to turn a 26-18 lead into a 52-26 advantage.

"We got a few more turnovers that were easy to put in off our press," Giltner coach Nancy Lockmon said. "In the first half we were getting a few, but we just weren’t putting them in the hoop.

"We didn’t make a lot of shots early in that first quarter."

Heartland Lutheran (4-4) didn’t handle the press as well as it had against other teams this season, coach Kathryn Langrehr said.

"Our challenge was in our head," she said. "We go against teams like Nebraska Christian and — not that Giltner doesn’t have excellent pressure — that wasn’t our best effort.

"We’re young, and we need to figure out how to rely on a couple of leaders. I’m not talking about points-wise, I’m talking about the emotional side of it. I think that we let them get into our head, so our head took us out of the game. We were responsible for that loss."

Dani Most scored 11 of her game-high 19 points in the third quarter to lead Giltner. She sat the final 4:59 of the first quarter after picking up her second foul, but she avoided a third foul the rest of the game.

Kelbie Lyon picked up the scoring in Most’s absence by scoring six of her 12 points in the first quarter. She also had 10 rebounds.

Gussie Rhoades added 13 points and Shelby Hinrichs 10 for the Hornets.

Lockmon said Giltner played well coming off the holiday break.

"We were a little winded at times, and you could tell that, especially in the first half," she said. "I don’t know if we are, but we like to believe that we’re in better shape than the other teams.

"In the second half lately, we have played a lot better. Hopefully we continue that."

Giltner faces Ansley-Litchfield in Saturday’s 4 p.m. championship game in a meeting of one-loss teams. The Spartans defeated the Lincoln Lutheran junior varsity 63-30.

"They’re going to be a tough team," Lockmon said. "They’ve only lost one game. They’ll be a challenge for us. Hopefully we have enough legs left. They got to save a lot of legs today.

"Hopefully it’ll be a good game. I think we can probably play with them, and hopefully we play some good defense, put the ball in the hoop and come out with a victory."

Heartland Lutheran faces the Lincoln Lutheran JVs in the 1 p.m. consolation game.

Giltner .............................. 13 13 26 13—65
Heartland Luth. ......................... 11 7 8 9—35

GILTNER (6-1): G. Rhoades 4-10 4-6 13, S. Hinrichs 5-13 0-0 10, D. Hinrichs 2-3 2-2 6, Most 9-17 1-1 19, Lyon 6-10 0-0 12, K. Rhoades 0-0 0-0 0, Lockmon 2-9 0-2 4, Roth 0-1 0-0 0, T. Rhoades 0-5 0-0 0, Thiel 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 0-2 0-0 0, Joyce 0-2 1-2 1, Craig 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-72 8-14 65.

HEARTLAND LUTHERAN (4-4): Scheer 0-3 0-0 0, Hollman 5-7 3-4 13, Schmitt 3-11 2-2 11, Bader 2-7 2-2 7, Kowalski 1-1 0-0 2, Wiegert 0-4 0-0 0, Bluschke 0-0 0-0 0, Roehrich 0-0 0-0 0, Hiegel 1-6 0-0 2. Totals 12-39 7-8 35.

3-point field goals—Giltner 1-10 (G. Rhoades 1-2, Lockmon 0-2, S. Hinrichs 0-3, D. Hinrichs 0-1, Most 0-2), HL 4-18 (Schmitt 3-10, Bader 1-5, Hiegel 0-3). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—Giltner 38 (Lyon 10), HL 40 (Hollman 10). Assists—Giltner 8 (D. Hinrichs 5), HL 10 (Scheer 3). Turnovers—Giltner 17, HL 46. Total fouls—Giltner 10, HL 12. Technicals—none.

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