New Haven, Mo. – Coach Ray Steinhoff knew coming into the season they would have a tough time matching up with teams because of their size. So far New Haven has done a good job of doing what they have always been known for, playing tough defense, holding teams to just 41 points per game.
Tuesday night the Shamrocks held the undefeated Tigers (7-0) to a season low 49 points on a team averaging 67 points per game however New Haven committed a season high 21 turnovers in Tuesday night’s loss to St. James 49-41.
St. James’s 6’3’’ guard Jake Ford put up a game high 21 points and Ross Seitter scored in double digits for the second straight game with a team high 13 points. Austin Madden took three charges Tuesday night for a total of seven on the year.
The game was much closer than what the final score was. New Haven began the fourth quarter down by six, 41-35. After both teams traded baskets Alex Poggas came up with a big steal pulling New Haven with in four, 39 - 43 and still four minutes to go in the game.
Unlike the first half; New Haven controlled the boards, giving up just one offensive rebound. Under three minutes, Seth Schenck dropped a 12-footer making it a one-possession game, 44-41.
There is not a bigger play that can be made late in a close game other than taking a charge. Less than two minutes left Madden drew his third charge of the game, which seemed like a huge momentum changer.
St. James continued to hold onto their three point lead, when Schenck forced a steal, which would have brought New Haven with in one but as Steinhoff said,
“Seth [Schenck] you know got blocked and unfortunately two of their tallest players where at the basket, all Seth could was take up strong. Generally a block will go out of bounds but they did a good job of keeping in bounds, which forced us to foul. St. James did what they had to do by making free-throws.”
Steinhoff said, “Jake Ford is just a great player, we made a few mistakes defensively where was able to get around a defender. I thought Kyle [Ruedier] did a great job of guarding their leading score 6’7’’ forward Jack Mueller by holding him to a season low eight points but also contribute our help defense to containing him.”
With Tuesday’s loss New Haven falls to 4-3, having lost two straight games. St. James improves to 8-0 and will play at Union on Friday.
New Haven travels to Pacific Friday night. Pacific has won their last five games, defeating Union on Tuesday, 57-34, in their first conference game.
Below Coach Steinhoff talks about the upcoming Pacific game.
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Steinhoff on Kyle Ruediger’s health:
“For the most part he has pretty well back to 100%. Going into Friday, knock on wood, we will be ready to play a really good team”
Steinhoff on Friday night’s game at Pacific:
“They were ranked in the preseason poll to win conference after winning it last year. The VanLeer kid will pose a difficult match up simply because he is a very smart minded player. I think he makes his teammates better. Great shooter and passer and does a great job of running their offense.
They are not nearly as big as St. James but still bigger than we are, which will be a constant throughout the year.”
You can follow Friday night’s action with live updates on our Facebook Page. Pacific is always a hostile environment and should be another fun game to watch.