Published Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:54 pm
BASKETBALL
Heartland Lutheran girls hold off Cedar Valley

Seeing what was once an 11-point lead cut down to three early in the fourth quarter, the Heartland Lutheran girls basketball responded like it needed to.

The Red Hornets used a 10-0 to push the lead back up to 13 and never looked back in taking a 59-47 victory over Cedar Valley Thursday.

"We’re learning some lessons this year and we learned another one tonight. We are starting to learn how to finish," Heartland Lutheran coach Kathryn Langrehr said. "We had a 13-point lead and with our history, I think the girls were kind of shocked that we had a lead like that. We made some great plays on defense that helped us out."

Cedar Valley ran off six straight points to trail 40-35 after three. Then a free throw from both Jayden Erickson and Lindsey Lammers made it 40-37 with 6 minutes, 32 seconds to play.

But Katy Kowalski nailed a short jumper to start the 10-0 run. Then Claire Heigel made a 3-pointer and a Justine Bader steal and layup pushed it up to 47-37. Heigel capped the run with a 3-pointer. The Red Hornets helped their cause by sinking 9-of-14 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Cedar Valley coach Brad Williams credited Heartland Lutheran during that stretch, but he said the Maverick offense didn’t do what it needed to do.

"They shot the ball really well during that time and made the plays," Williams said. "On our end, we set up some plays for us to run and they just could never get them run."

Cedar Valley could never get its offense going. The Mavericks made only one basket in the second quarter and two in the fourth. In all, they were 15 of 67 from the floor. Brooke Behnk led the Mavericks with 12 points, while Lammers added 11.

Williams said Heartland Lutheran’s height with Katy Kowalski at 6-foot-2, Bethany Hollman at 6-1 and Heigel at 5-10 really bothered Cedar Valley.

"We just could never get our offense going," Williams said. "It seemed like we were just taking too many bad shots and I think their height had a lot to do with that. Their size rattled us a little bit."

What also helped the Red Hornets was getting off to a 12-4 lead and taking a 21-16 lead after the first. Sydney Schmitt put up nine of her 12 points in the quarter. Justine Bader led the Red Hornets with 13 points, while Hollman added 11.

"That was big for us to come right out of the gates," Langrehr said. "I can’t say enough about how well we played in that first quarter. We got great efforts from a lot of people and I’m happy for them."

Cedar Valley (1-9): Lindsey Lammers 5-17 1-2 11, Shelby Behnk 2-3 1-2 5, Jayden Erickson 0-8 2-4 2, Sidney Wood 1-8 0-0 2, Ashlynn Wood 1-10 3-4 5, Erica Robinson 1-7 8-10 10, Brooke Behnk 5-14 2-4 12. Totals 15-67 17-26 47

Heartland Lutheran (6-5): Rochelle Scheer 0-2 0-0 0, Emily Wiegert 2-4 0-0 4, Bethany Hollman 5-6 1-2 11, Sydney Schmitt 4-8 0-0 12, Justine Bader 3-10 6-10 13, Katy Kowalski 3-10 0-2 6, Alyssa Roehrich 1-1 0-0 2, Sarah Niemeier 0-0 2-2 2, Claire Heigel 3-4 0-2 9. Totals 21-45 9-18 59

Cedar Valley .............................. 16 4 15 12—47
Heartland Lutheran ................... 21 10 9 19—59

3-point goals — CV 0-11 (A. Wood 0-5, Lammers 0-2, Erickson 0-2, S. Wood 0-2). HL 8-17 (Schmitt 4-8, Heigel 3-4, Bader 1-4, Wiegert 0-1). Fouled out — Behnk. Rebounds — .CV 37 (Lammers 12), HL 32 (Hollman 8) Turnovers — CV 17, HL 23. Total fouls — CV 18, HL 13. Technicals — None.

BOYS

Heartland Lutheran boys 70, Cedar Valley 54

After trailing 18-13 after the first quarter, the Heartland Lutheran boys basketball team got going both offensively and defensively.

The Red Hornets outscored Cedar Valley 22-4 in the second quarter and never looked back in a 70-54 victory Thursday.

Heartland Lutheran could not stop Collin Martinsen, who had 11 of his team-high 19 points in the first quarter. Red Hornet coach Lloyd Wagnitz made a defensive adjustment and put Grant Suchanek on Martinsen and said it paid off.

"He was getting a lot of wide-open looks in the first quarter as we were struggling on defense," Wagnitz said. "We like to put points up but we got to find a way to stop people and we did that."
Offensively, Jon Simonson took charge in the second stanza. The 5-9 junior scored 13 of his game-high 21 points, along with three 3s, in the stanza.

"He’s a super leader for us," Wagnitz said. "He’s quick and is really smart. We just turned the game over to him and he did a nice job leading in the second quarter. It’s fun to watch him play on the offensive end."

The Mavericks went 2-of-14 in the second quarter. Overall, they were 20-of-59.

"That second quarter was the difference in the game. We missed too many easy baskets in that quarter," Cedar Valley coach Luke Thompson said. "We did do a nice job of getting the ball inside, we just couldn’t finish. That was frustrating and it seemed to carry over into the rest of the game after that."

Wagnitz said it was a nice victory for the Red Hornets, but knows they need to get better.

"We’ll continue to work on the defensive end and we’ll need to as we head toward the Goldenrod Conference Tournament," he said. "Spalding/Spalding Academy is undefeated right now and Humphrey St. Francis and Burwell have nice teams as well. We have a lot of ball to play and we have some things to work on but we’re young and they love to play the game. And most importantly, they don’t have that fear in their eyes. That’s great to see."

Cedar Valley (0-10): Nekoliczak 3-6 0-0 9, Martinsen 8-16 0-3 19, Ibach 0-3 0-0 0, Nordhues 2-5 4-6 8, Gorecki 1-4 0-0 3, Wood 2-10 0-2 5, Beck 0-0 0-0 0, D. Martinsen 4-15 2-6 10. Totals 20-59 6-17 54

Heartland Lutheran (7-4): Ja. Simonson 2-12 4-4 10, Messersmith 3-5 0-1 6, Dreher 0-1 0-0 0, Jo. Simonson 6-12 6-6 21, Suchanek 6-14 3-4 17, Warnake 1-3 0-0 2, Hueftle 6-8 2-2 14. Totals 24-55 15-17 70.

Cedar Valley .................................... 18 4 11 21—54
Heartland Lutheran .......................... 13 22 15 20—70

3-point goals — CV 8-21 (C. Martinsen 3-4, Nekoliczak 3-5, Wood 1-7, Gorecki 1-3, D. Martinsen 0-2). HL 7-20 (Jo. Simonson 3-4, Ja. Simonson 2-8, Suchanek 2-7, Warnake 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — CV 48 (D. Martinsen 11), HL 28 (Hueftle 7) Turnovers — CV 18, HL 8. Total fouls — CV 17, HL 15. Technicals — None.

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