Published Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:03 am
Grand Island Heartland Lutheran holds off St. Edward

Despite seeing the Heartland Lutheran boys basketball team not play one of its better games, Red Hornet coach Lloyd Wagnitz was happy to get the win.

The Red Hornets were 19-of-51 (37 percent) from the floor, but did just enough to pull out a 58-43 victory over St. Edward Thursday.

Jon Simonson led Heartland Lutheran with 16 points, while Grant Suchanek and Devin Hueftle each added 15 points, but Wagnitz said he thought the Red Hornets’ 68-54 win over Hampton Tuesday took its toll.

"I think the Hampton game Tuesday took a lot out of us and it showed. That score is deceiving because it was hard-fought game," Wagnitz said. "We struggled shooting the ball tonight but the kids hung in there. It’s just one of those games."

While Heartland Lutheran could not get its up-tempo game going, the defense did hold the Beavers to 10 points on 4-of-19 shooting in the first half in taking a 25-10 lead at the break.

But St. Edward hung right in there, thanks to making seven of its eight 3-pointers in the second half. Jonah Micek, who led St. Edward with 12 points, nailed a pair to help bring the Beavers closer to 34-27 to start the fourth quarter.

Heartland Lutheran responded with a 6-0 run to take it back to double digits. Hueftle started the scoring on a pass from Jon Simonson, then Jacob Simonson buried a 3. Hueftle, who had 16 rebounds with eight offensive, had a put back to take it to 41-27.

St. Edward kept fighting and the closest it got was 51-43 after a Austin Miller 3. But a Hueftle basket and five Red Hornet free throws sealed the game.

Beaver coach Jason Maxfield said he was pleased with the second-half effort and credits St. Edward for making its shots in the second half.

"Making shots makes a big difference. Everything feels better and we can get back on defense after that," Maxfield said. "We did hold them to one possession a lot in the second half and that was big as well. The kids work hard and I’m proud of their efforts. It’s a four-quarter game and we can’t allow teams to get out like they did on us in the first half. Hopefully some night, we can put four quarters together."

Wagnitz said St. Edward’s 0-12 record might be a little deceiving, based on how well the Beavers in the second half.

"If they play like they did in the second half all game, they should be winning some ball games," Wagnitz said. "They shot the ball well, especially in the second half. They didn’t quit and I was impressed with their attitude. They kept fighting."

The Red Hornets will take on Burwell in the Goldenrod Conference Tournament at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Spalding.
"It won’t be hard to motivate the kids to play Burwell but I would have liked to have seen us play better going into that game," Wagnitz said.

ST. EDWARD (0-12): J. Micek 4-14 0-0 12, Stock 2-3 0-2 4, Osantowski 0-3 0-0 0, N. Micek 0-1 0-0 0, Hoffmeister 3-4 0-0 8, Miller 4-11 1-2 11, Shanle 0-2 0-0 0, Merrell 3-9 2-2 8. Totals 16-47 3-6 43

HEARTLAND LUTHERAN (9-4): Ja. Simonson 1-6 1-2 4, Warneke 0-1 0-0 0, Messersmith 3-8 0-0 6, Dreher 1-1 0-0 2, Jo. Simonson 4-11 6-6 16, Suchanek 3-12 3-4 15, Hueftle 7-12 1-3 15. Totals 19-51 11-15 58.

St. Edward ................................. 3 7 14 19—43
Heartland Lutheran ..................... 10 15 9 24—58

3-point field goals—SE 8-22 (J. Micek 4-14, Hoffmeister 2-2, Miller 2-4, Osantowski 0-1, Shanel 0-1); HL 7-20 (Suchanek 4-7, Jo. Simonson 2-4, Ja. Simonson 1-5, Sanders 0-3, Warneke 0-1) Fouled out—Stock. Rebounds—SE 28 (Miller 10), HL 35 (Hueftle 16). Turnovers— SE 19, HL 10.


Katy Kowalski helped Heartland Lutheran with her defense against St. Edward.

The Red Hornet 6-foot-2 senior had six blocks in helping Heartland Lutheran pull out a 51-36 victory over the Beavers.

"She played with a ton of effort tonight," Red Hornet coach Kathryn Langrehr said of Kowalski, who added six points. "She has the quote of the year and says ‘Going straight up really works.’ She’s got really long arms and putting up a big block. We really got a lot out of her tonight."

St. Edward coach Taylor Maulsby said Kowalski caused a lot of problems on defense.

"She really did," Maulsby said. "She’s athletic and tall. We don’t have the tall players and she made life pretty rough."

Heartland Lutheran gave itself some breathing room in the second quarter. After a Kowalski free throw, Claire Heigel and Justine Bader hit back-to-back 3s, followed by a Alyssa Roehrich basket to give the Red Hornets a 29-15 halftime lead.

Heartland Lutheran pretty much kept that lead throughout the course of the game, even though the Beavers did cut it to single digits a few times.

Heigel led the Red Hornets with 14 points, while Sydney Schmitt added 13. Langrehr said she was pleased with the effort, especially since Heartland Lutheran was playing without Bethany Hollman, who was out with illness.

"We had a lot of people step up for us," she said. "The girls came out with a lot of energy and that was huge. Our defense caused a lot of trouble with ball pressure as well. They are starting to play in the gap and that’s going to help."

Sara Baustert led St. Edward with 16 points, while Alex Cumming with 12.

Heartland Lutheran battles Spalding/Spalding Academy in the Goldenrod Conference Tournament at 6 p.m. Monday at Fullerton.

ST. EDWARD (1-11): Rasmussen 1-3 0-0 2, Baustert 5-12 2-3 16, E. Cumming 2-7 0-1 4, Olson 0-6 0-0 0, A. Cumming 6-12 0-2 12, Hamling 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 15-44 2-6 36.

HEARTLAND LUTHERAN (8-6): Scheer 2-5 0-1 4, Wiegert 2-5 0-0 4, Schmitt 3-13 2-4 8, Bader 4-7 2-3 13, Kowalski 2-6 2-4 6, Roehrich 1-3 0-0 2, Hiegel 4-6 3-3 14. Totals 18-45 9-15 51.

St. Edward ....................................... 11 4 9 12—36
Heartland Lutheran .......................... 14 15 10 12—51

3-point field goals—SE 4-11 (Baustert 4-8, E. Cumming 0-1, Olson 0-2); HL 4-8 (Hiegel 3-4, Bader 1-2, Schmitt 0-2). Fouled out—none . Rebounds—SE 24 (A. Merrell 9), HL 29 (Wiegert 7) Turnovers— SE 18, HL 15 .

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