Pacific Wins Defensive Battle Over Shamrocks 36-27

Seth Schenck drives and draws the foul early in the second quarter, hitting one of two free throws.

By Kyle Quick

New Haven, Mo. - Four Rivers Conference rivals, New Haven’s Winter Ball Coronation, and the Shamrocks final game against state ranked (#10) Pacific before heading into Christmas Break created an electrify atmosphere in last Friday's game.

Friday night’s game saw two great defensive teams flat out guard each other and their game stats reflected it.  New Haven shot 29% (11-28) from the field while Pacific was no better, shooting just 28% (11-39).

Pacific’s Cullen Vanleer scored a game 20 points, 11 of them coming in the first quarter and five of the 11 in the final minute, and was 9-11 on free throws.

Seth Schenck led New Haven with 12 points while Brandon Carey had a career high 12 rebounds, two steals and two assists.

Coach Ray Steinhoff said, “We made a few unforced turnovers and had opportunities when we could have pulled within four points that we did not take advantage of, but it was good to see that we are capable of hanging with a really good team.”

There were several pivotal moments throughout but it was the final minute of the first quarter played a huge role in Pacific picking up the win.

“We could not have ended the first quarter any worse than we did”, said Steinhoff. New Haven had possession with one minute remaining in the first quarter, trailing 11-5 when Ross Seitter’s took a deep three with 50 seconds left that rimmed out.  Pacific took advantage as Vanleer knocked down a jumper with 20 seconds remaining to give them an eight point lead, 13-5.

The Shamrocks again had a chance to run down the clock but took a bad shot with four seconds left.

Pacific came down with board, kicked up court to Vanleer who was then fouled as he threw up a three from the 10 foot spiking line with 0.7 seconds remaining.

Cullen Vanleer scores two of his 11 first quarter points.

Vanleer ended the quarter by hitting all three free throws.  Instead of at worst trailing by six and at best trailing only by three, New Haven found themselves down 11 after two costly mistakes.

New Haven would actually out score Pacific 22-20 the rest of the game and hold Vanleer to just nine points.

Even with how New Haven ended the first quarter they still had opportunities.

Pacific took a 16 point lead (29-13) midway through the third quarter before the Shamrocks would hold the Indians scoreless for nearly six minutes, going on a 10-0 run and pulling with six points (29-23) at the six minute mark of the fourth quarter.

Steinhoff said, “We guarded them really really hard and I thought we guarded them really well.  They did out physical us on the boards… scored nine points off 10 offensive rebounds, which in a close game that’s a lot of points.”

“Otherwise I just thought we guarded them good and nobody other than Vanleer were able to get anything done for them offensively.  But they guarded use really good and had a good game plain.”

“I wasn’t disappointed with our guys, I thought they competed hard and really a good job of guard” Steinhoff added.

New Haven returns from Christmas Break this Friday, traveling to New Bloomfield then to St. James the following Tuesday before ending the week hosting Bourbon on Friday night Jan. 10.

Then the week of Jan.13 through Jan 18 the Shamrocks will travel to the South Callaway Tournament, which in past years has been more like a wrestling match.

New Haven is seeded second behind number one seeded Montgomery County.

Visit the Sports Zone for all tournament brackets.

Side Note:  The games vs Montgomery County that were cancelled on Dec. 13 due to winter weather have been rescheduled for Jan. 23rd at New Haven with the JV game beginning at 6 p.m.