BASKETBALL: Redskins suffer second close loss
ST. HENRY — Someone asked Matt Bradley how he was doing Saturday night.
“I’m not sure how to answer that,” said the Wapakoneta Redskins varsity boys basketball coach.
Bradley had just watched his squad come up just short in a close game against a strong opponent for the second night in a row.
On Friday, Wapak’s late rally came just a little too late as the Redskins fell to the undefeated, Western Buckeye League-favorite Elida Bulldogs, 46-41.
Twenty-four hours later, it was the 4-1 St. Henry Redskins doing the deed, holding off another late Wapak surge to pull out at 59-57 win at St. Henry.
The loss dropped Wapak to 1-4 on a season that could just as easily be 3-2.
“Every guy that played can probably take a look at two or three possessions that they had a lapse, either offensively or defensively,” Bradley said. “Me, as a coach, getting a technical foul, a loss of composure. We can all go back through and find a play where, if we would have done something a little differently, the outcome would have been different.
“But we competed very hard, both last night and tonight. I am so proud of our effort. In the past, after a tough loss like that last night, we would come out and lay an egg. And we certainly didn’t tonight.”
While Wapak had to battle back from a 20-point deficit on Friday, Saturday night’s matchup was a close affair throughout.
St. Henry led 16-13 after one quarter before Wapak tied it up at 25-all at the half.
St. Henry used a strong third quarter to take a 47-39 lead into the fourth.
But Wapak junior Travis Bertram hit three 3-pointers in quick succession to open the fourth quarter and get Wapak back into the fight.
Unfortunately, Wapak couldn’t make the shots it needed down the stretch and St. Henry held on for the win.
Bertram led Wapak with a season-high 28 points. He was 10-of-20 (50 percent) from the floor and 6-of-15 (40 percent) on 3-pointers.
Junior point guard Alex Greve just missed double figures with nine points. He dished out a team-high nine assists.
Greve had to carry a little more of the burden after backcourt mate Andy Faller was whistled for a foul, then picked up a technical foul when he protested the call, late in the first quarter. The technical foul gave Faller three fouls in the game, sending him to the bench.
Junior Alex Koch, who was seeing his first action of the season after suffering a knee injury, was pressed into service in Faller’s absence.
Bradley was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
St. Henry had a balanced attack with three players in double figures. Caleb Heitkamp led the way with 17 points. Kyle stahl added 16 and Steven Luttmer chipped in with 11.
Both team were an identical 19-of-44 (43.2 percent) shooting.