Roughriders Lose Close Game To Celina

One on one
Sports Editor

St. Marys Roughriders varsity girls basketball coach Nikki Miars wanted to see her defense improve in Thursday night’s Western Buckeye League match against rival Celina.

She got what she wanted – in spurts – but constant demand for rebounding the ball – especially on the offensive side – fell on deaf ears in the Roughriders 53-49 loss to the Bulldogs Thursday night at Celina Fieldhouse.

After Monday’s win against St. Henry, in a game where the Redskins made eight 3-pointers and scored 56 points in a losing effort, Miars proclaimed that she wanted to see an improvement in her defense.

The Roughriders started out better than anyone could have expected on the defensive side in the opening eight minutes.

Celina shot just 2 of 10 from the field, turning the ball over three times in the process.

After scoring the first bucket of the game, the Bulldogs scored just two more points in the rest of the quarter and go scoreless in the final five and a half minutes.

However, things reverted back to their old ways in the second quarter for the Roughriders as the defense could not reclaim the same effectiveness it had in the first quarter and rebounding and shooting suffered.

A Jenna Perry bucket in transition off an Angstmann turnover put the Bulldogs within two, 15-13. Eventually, the Bulldogs tied the game with a Kelly Stahl putback, 19-19, the Bulldogs then took their first lead since the opening seconds of the game with a Heather Heiby 3-pointer, 22-19 and a Haley McGillvary 3-pointer made the score 25-21 at the half.

Defense rose to the occasion again as the Roughriders allowed just five points, forced three turnovers and made the Bulldogs go 2 of 7 from the field.

Rebounding killed the Roughriders in the second half as Celina out-rebounded St. Marys 17-8 in the final 16 minutes. The Bulldogs shot 7 of 8 from the field in the fourth quarter and received seven of their nine points from Heiby between a two-minute span late in the fourth.

Down 48-42 with 2:35 left, Lindi Cisco kept the Roughriders in the game with a 3-pointer followed by a pair of Perry free throws and two straight bucket by Quincy Rable made it 50-49 with 12.1 seconds left.

McGillvary made one of two free throws to make it 51-49, giving the Roughriders one last chance to ties or take the lead.

Rable launched a floater, but the ball ricochet off the rim and into the hands of Heiby for the game-winning rebound.