UNION CITY — The St. Henry Redskins used 10 3-pointers on their way to handing the Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks a 72-35 defeat.
“Our problem was we couldn’t get out to the corners. They were shooting threes from the corners and nobody wanted to get out there and stop the corners,” Mississinawa Valley varsity boys basketball coach Rodney Saintignon said. “I kept telling the guys to sit on top of the guys and not get screened, but we sat back. We left them wide open in the corners.”
The Hawks’ only lead of the contest came at 7:20 in the first period on a Dane Blumenstock stick-back for a 2-0 lead.
The Redskins used 13 unanswered points to take a 13-2 lead at 2:38 before Blackhawks sophomore Devan Rinderle hit a jumper in the paint, making it a 3-point play by knocking down a free throw for a 13-5 score.
St. Henry took a 5-0 run to move out to an 18-5 lead.
The Hawks made it an 18-7 score to close out first quarter play on a Blumenstock reverse layup with an assist from teammate Devan Rinderle.
Mississinawa cut the Redskins’ lead to 21-17 at 5:36 in the second period with two Cayden Cox free throws, a Blumenstock layup and Cox scoring on a fast break with an assist from Blumenstock.
MV rounded out its 12-3 scoring run with Blumenstock scoring with a basket off a steal and connecting on a free throw for a Hawks three-point play.
The Redskins held the Hawks scoreless over the final 5:36 of the second quarter while hitting 16 unanswered points to take a 37-17 halftime lead.
“They are very quick, very good shooters,” Saintignon said. “They are good at driving inside. We just have to get better defensively.”
Carson Stump answered a Redskins basket to open third quarter play followed with a Cox free throw for a 39-21 score at 6:38.
St. Henry took advantage of pressuring defense and up-tempo offense, going on a 10-0 run in under three minutes of play to lead 49-21.
Hawks coach Saintignon went to his bench, pulling most of his starters early in the second half of play.
“I have those guys on the bench that have been wanting to play; they are hungry,” Saintignon said. “I’ve got to get the guys that are hungry in the game.
“(I’m) not giving up on my starters by no means,” Saintignon said. “They are the ones that have to get us going, but these guys sitting on the bench, some of these guys are seniors, and they can play as well. They get in there and bust their tails, and that’s what we have to do once in a while.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Saintignon continued. “They are a great bunch of kids. Every one of them can play basketball. We have to get together playing as one team.”
Zach Armstrong nailed a shot from the corner followed with a Cox score to make it a 49-25 game at 3:10 in third quarter play.
Trailing 54-27, Armstrong hit for two in the paint and Alex Brooks got all net, knocking down a trey to send the game into the fourth quarter with the visitors leading 54-30.
The Blackhawks’ Tyler Connor dropped in a 3-pointer at 7:13 to get fourth quarter play underway.
Mississinawa got its last points of the night at 6:08 on an Armstrong bucket in the paint for a 58-35 Redskins lead.
St. Henry scored 14 unanswered points to close out scoring on the night, taking a 72-35 win.
“You have to give St. Henry credit,” Saintignon said. “They are a great team. They are one of the best teams I’ve seen so far this year. I wish them the best of luck in the MAC.”
Scoring by quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Totals
Mississinawa Valley 7 10 13 5 35
St. Henry 18 19 17 18 72
Mississinawa Valley scoring: D. Blumenstock 8, C. Cox 8, Z. Armstrong 6, T. Connor 3, A. Brooks 3, Devan Rinderle 3, C. Stump 2, Dalton Rinderle 2
St. Henry scoring: R. Mikesell 21, C. Bender 16, E. Prenger 10, T. Schwieterman 8, S. Knapke 8, P. Stammen 4, J. Jacobs 3, A. Niekamp 2