It took overtime, but the New Haven Shamrocks earned their first Four Rivers Conference win of the season Friday night at home.
New Haven (11-9, 1-2) edged Union (4-14, 0-3) through one extra session, 52-50.
“It was good to get a win when we had been suffering in close games recently,” New Haven Head Coach Ray Steinhoff said. “We had lost four games in a row where it came down to the last possession of the game.”
Union Head Coach Chris Simmons said the Wildcats aren’t used to playing in those situations.
“We are still learning how to win,” Simmons said. “We keep getting closer and closer, but just come up short. These are hard lessons to learn but eventually they will pay off if we stick with it and learn from our mistakes. I was really proud of them. They played really hard and executed for the most part throughout the game.”
Union opened the game with a 10-6 lead through one quarter. New Haven came back to go ahead at the half, 20-17.
The Wildcats came out to score 16 points in the third quarter, taking a 33-31 advantage going into the final quarter.
“I don’t think either team led by more than three or four points at any time during the game,” Steinhoff said. “It was our homecoming and we had a really big crowd. It was a fantastic atmosphere from start to finish. The kids from both teams played hard.”
Regulation ended with the game tied at 42-42 after Nick Ziegler hit a basket to tie it at the buzzer.
“We had a two-point lead at the end of the ballgame until Ziegler sent it into overtime,” Steinhoff said. “The biggest thing we had to do was to get ready for overtime and show some mental toughness. We didn’t do a very good job.”
Union scored the first four points of the overtime period and threatened to add to that lead.
“They missed a shot to go up six,” Steinhoff reported. “That would have been very big.”
Simmons said New Haven earned the win.
“You’ve got to give New Haven credit,” Simmons said. They hit big shots when they needed to. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us so we have to work hard and get ready. We still have eight games and four of those are conference games so there is no time to get down about past mistakes.”
Steinhoff said New Haven’s ability to force turnovers was a determining factor in the game.
“We had them for 18 turnovers in the game and we only made one,” Steinhoff said. “We did a good job causing turnovers. I think that was a big factor for us.”
Each team had three players reach double figures in scoring. Two of Union’s top scorers ended with double-doubles.
Seth Schenck led the Shamrocks with 14 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal.
Kyle Ruediger scored 12 points with six rebounds.
Austin Madden concluded with 11 points, two rebounds, two steals and an assist.
Alex Poggas chipped in with nine points.
Ross Seitter scored six points and added five rebounds, five steals and three assists.
“Seth had a really strong night,” Steinhoff said. “Alex hit some big threes throughout the night. Ross made some big steals late in regulation and in overtime.”
Also playing were Blake Eggers (two rebounds and an assist) and Ben Luecke.
Union was paced by Brandon Ford, who posted a double-double with points (15) and rebounds (14). He also had five assists before fouling out.
Also reaching a double-double for the game was junior Brian Borgmann, who scored 10 points with 11 rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot.
“Borgmann and Ford played their best game of the season by both scoring when they had opportunities and distributing the ball as well,” Simmons said.
“Both Ford and Borgmann did a good job not only scoring on the blocks, but dishing off and finding cutters going to the net,” Steinhoff said.
TJ Vitt scored 12 points for Union with three assists and a rebound.
Blake Hulsey, who scored eight points with five rebounds and four assists, had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer according to Steinhoff.
Ziegler posted four points with five rebounds and one assist.
Dylan Small scored one point and added one rebound.
“This was a really good high school ballgame with a really neat atmosphere,” Steinhoff said. “I was proud of how hard they played.”
Union visited Windsor Monday night and lost to the Owls, 71-58.
Four Wildcats hit double digits in the game.
Ziegler led the way with 16 points.
Borgmann, Ashton Dehn and Ford closed with 10 points apiece.
Vitt added six points while Hulsey and Small scored three points each.
Alex Andrews led Windsor with 22 points while Anel Ganic scored 16 and Justin Sanders added 14.
Windsor led 21-17 after one quarter, 37-32 at the intermission and 51-40 after three quarters.