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Schumacher, Bulldogs surprise Creek Valley

 

Stephen McKay

The Bulldogs' Jodie Schumacher, left, and Jessie Straber of the Storm collide while reaching for a rebound.

Aided by a hot shooting Jodi Schumacher, Peetz outlasted the Creek Valley Storm 57-53 in a non-district girls basketball game in Chappell on Tuesday night.

It was somewhat of an emotional game for the Bulldogs as they were informed earlier in the day that their coach, Tera Segelke, could not attend the game due to doctors orders.

"I don't want to say we won this for (Segelke) but I think there were a lot of emotions in this one," said Bulldogs Assistant Coach Trevor Brady, who will run the team in Segelke's absence. "Even though she wasn't here she gets the credit for preparing these girls to be able to handle a team as good as Creek Valley."

After a terse first half, an offensive war broke out in the third quarter. Over eight explosive minutes, the Bulldogs (5-2) outscored the Storm (6-2) 27-22. During the period there were seven three-point shots made - four by Schumacher. Morgan Burns added another for the visitors while the Storm's Jerry Straber drained a pair for the home team.

"The stats said that were were supposed to beat them," admitted Storm forward Jill Behrends. "I think a lot of the starters might have underestimated them a little. From last year I remember they were pretty tough though."

The slugfest that broke out in the second half began innocently enough, as Melissa Schumacher sank a pair of free throws for Peetz. Schumacher's shots from the line helped the Bulldogs extend their 21-16 halftime lead.

But Hannah Schievelbein and Jerry Straber counterpunched with a 5-point run, including Straber's first three.

From there the action was fast and furious. The host Storm was the first to benefit from the pace. Straber seemed to be the antidote to Jodi Schumacher's hot hand as she piled up 11 points in the frame. When she sank a free throw with 4:30 left in the quarter, the Storm had finally erased the 7-point deficit and forged a 29-all tie.

Though Jodi Schumacher scored 12 points in the third she didn't bend the twine until nearly half the period was over. With 4:08 left she hit her first to break the deadlock which Creek Valley had worked so hard to achieve. For the rest of the quarter Schumacher was unstoppable. She hit her final three with a busy hand in her face. Rather than rush, she calmly took one step back and fired up a swish.

In the final four minutes of the third, Peetz had broken out of the deadlock and established a 48-38 lead.

"I just kept on shooting and kept on making them. I guess it was just my night," said Jodi Schumacher of her third quarter performance. "I know how good Summer (Mueller) and Jerry (Straber) are, so being able to beat them is a good win."

The Storm wasn't about to go quietly. Though Burns added 3 more points to the Bulldogs lead opening the fourth, Creek Valley soon began to climb back into the contest. With scoring from several sources including treys by Behrends and Straber, the Storm came within two wth 1:20 left in the game.

The host's comeback attempt stumbled, however, after they fouled Burns and Beth Burnhardt. The pair of them sank all four of their free throws to end the Storm's chances.

"The girls really came prepared," Brady said. "Coach Tera and I talked about this. How we did against this strong team was going to help tell us where we are as a group."

The opening half was significanly more tame than the second - at least from an offensive standpoint. But the Bulldogs achieved defensively one of the goals they had set out for themselves.

"To be honest I was a little nervous about coming in here. I know how good (Creek Valley) is," said Burns. "We realized that to have any chance to win we had to hold Summer (Mueller) down. We held her to 9 points and that was big."

Burns was actually the one most often charged with guarding the Storm's leading scorer. Mueller, however, was not pacified. She led Creek Valley in steals with 4 and grabbed 9 rebounds as well. But holding Mueller to half her scoring average was a big feat.

The Bulldogs were hampered some in the first half as Bernhardt was forced to sit after getting into early foul trouble.

The first half was largely a see-saw affair with neither team ever able to gain much of an advantage. Jodi Schumacher scored her first three in the opening quarter and then had another of sorts in the second when she completed a three-point play. Burns later drained a trey the old fashioned way to break a 16-16 tie with 30 seconds left in the half. Schumacher ended the half by hitting both ends of a one-and-one for the 21-16 lead - perhaps forshadowing the fireworks to come.

Jodi Shumacher's 20 points led the Peetz offense while Jerry Straber dropped in 19 for the home team. Behrends scored 13 for Creek Valley. Schievelbein was a force on the glass for the Storm as she pulled down 19 rebounds to lead all players.

The Storm will be off until Saturday when they travel to Minatare. The Bulldogs face an important league test when they host Briggsdale on Friday.

Girls Basketball

Peetz 57

Creek Valley 53

 

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