Second quarter surge sends Lady Jays past RSM

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Above, RSM’s Sydney Schroeder goes up for a fast-break layup against the Jays. Schroeder led all scorers with 17 points.
(Sentinel Photo By Allen Hamil)

LE MARS — The Gehlen Catholic girls basketball team has been trying to string together wins lately but had been unable to get much in the way of momentum. With a 61-29 victory over Remsen St. Mary’s on Monday, February 4, the Lady Jays now have three straight wins for the first time since mid-December. While the team has some momentum going for them, Head Coach Brandon Schaecher said there are still areas the team can improve on.

“We continue to talk that 60 points is great,” Schaecher said. “We had 61 tonight. We probably left another 10 off the board tonight just from turnovers and mistakes again.”

While the Jays scored the first six points of the game, it was a sluggish start for the team as they went nearly half the quarter without a basket. The team led by just four after a frame as Brittany Johnson’s shot for RSM at the buzzer from a few steps inside the arc made it a 10-6 game at the end of eight minutes.

A couple minutes into the second, Gehlen finally hit their stride with Chloe Bunkers and Annissa Kleich hitting 3-pointers and Lauren Heying scoring a late breakaway layup as part of a 16-1 run across the final five minutes of the half.

“The second quarter was a great quarter for us,” Schaecher said. “We finally settled down, got the steals, turned them into fast breaks and that was most of the first half. It was great to get that lead.”

RSM Head Coach Scott Willman said that aside from the second quarter his team put up a good effort.

“I thought we did a lot of things well except for in the second quarter where we just lost an emotional edge and Gehlen really jumped on us at that time,” Willman said. “Otherwise we did a lot of things well, but that was just a hole that was hard to get out of.”

The second half started well for the Hawks with Sydney Schroeder knocking down a 3-pointer and then getting a steal and layup. The Jays answered with a 3-pointer from Bunkers but neither side did much in the final four minutes of the frame with RSM scoring the only two points in that timeframe.

Both teams opened up in the opening moments of the fourth quarter with Addison Weber knocking down a 3-pointer and Schroeder answering right back. The Jays started to knock down their shots from the perimeter with Kate Hill hitting one and Kleich adding two more plus an old-fashioned 3-point play. Kleich, who only played two quarters, tied for the team-lead with 12 points which is a career high for the junior. That broke her previous best mark of five points which came in the first meeting against the Hawks.

Schaecher said the outside shooting finally came alive in the second half.

“They’re defense, he packs it in that 2-3 zone and forces you to shoot outside,” Schaecher said. “We couldn’t hit very many 3-pointers that first half. The fourth quarter we finished it out strong with some nice shooting, some great outside shots finally fell for us.”

Weber and Livermore were the other two players to finish with 12 points while Bunkers, Katelyn Langel and Heying all ended with six points.

Schroeder ended up leading all scorers with her 17 points for the Hawks as she knocked down three treys and added six makes at the free-throw line.

“Sydney Schroeder scored well for us, but we had to play better as a unit tonight in order to be more successful,” Willman said.

Remsen St. Mary’s (3-17) will conclude the regular season at War Eagle Conference leader Unity Christian on Tuesday, February 5.

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RSM: Points- Schroeder 17, Johnson 6, Feller 2, E. Galles 2, Willman 1, Conover 1.

Gehlen: Points- Weber 12, Livermore 12, Kleich 12, Bunkers 6, K. Langel 6, Heying 6, Hill 5, Zubrod 2.