By Dan Fox
The varsity Hermann and Owensville teams threw down in rivalry games on Feb. 7, games that saw both the boys and girls from Hermann victorious.
Hermann girls coach Andy Emmons said the Owensville players are a young and versatile bunch, and played extremely well that Friday night.
“It was a tight game, they are a well-coached team, they’re pretty young and athletic, and they hit some big shots to kind of keep them in the game,” Emmons said.
Hermann picked up a bit of a lead heading into halftime, and got a lead in the double-digits. Some trouble sinking buckets on Hermann’s end let Owensville catch up, though.
“We just couldn’t put them away, they [Owensville] hit some shots down the stretch and got some nice offensive rebounds and just kind of hung around and hung around and hung around,” Emmons said.
It was a five or six point game at one point, Emmons said, and Owensville hit a three to tighten the gap, and then cut the score to one. Very late in the game, Hermann’s Gracie Winklemann got fouled, and was able to sink two free throws, giving Hermann a three-point cushion until the end.
“They had one more possession to try and tie it and they couldn’t hit the three,” Emmons said. Hermann locked away the win 48-45.
Leading into the Feb. 7 match, Emmons said on paper it was a game the Hermann girls should win, but they knew the possibility for an upset was a very real one.
“They played really well, and we didn’t maybe play up to our normal standards, especially shooting, and ended up with a really tight game down the stretch,” Emmons said.
Emmons tipped his hat to Owensville’s performance, calling one of their athletes – Anna Finley – an “outstanding player,” adding that Hermann did just enough to win, but that the game was a good test for them.
“They gave us everything we wanted on a Friday night,” Emmons said.
Hermann’s Quincy Erickson had a big night Feb. 7, scoring 17 points, and Emmons said overall his players gave a consistently good performance.
Looking ahead, Emmons said he knows his team can shoot better than they demonstrated on Feb. 7, and wants to touch up those skills again.
“We’re normally a decent free throw shooting [team], we went 5 for 14, which isn’t how we normally shoot,” Emmons said.
Hermann’s boys won over the Owensville team by double-digits, pulling out a victory 50-36.
“It was a big win for us, always a rivalry game with Owensville, so we know we’re going to get a great effort out of them,” Hermann’s boys coach Josh Vinyard said.
Vinyard said his guys did a good job of not getting rattled early on when the Owensville players came out fast and hard at the start of the game.
“We weathered the storm and then were able to get into halftime and get a chance to make adjustments against the 2-3 zone that they were slowing us down with,” Vinyard said.
Vinyard said assistant coach Jake Witthaus made a keen observation that helped the team get going offensively in the third quarter.
“Then we came out in the second half, we were able to kind of get what we wanted against that zone defense…we were able to get it inside and attack it where we wanted it, and we kind of got it rolling from there,” Vinyard said.
Vinyard said Seth Hackmann had a big game on both ends of the floor. Hermann’s guards did their job of getting the ball to the middle of their zone where Trent Anderson and Hackmann could attack it.
Holden Ash, who Vinyard said has been shooting great for the team all year, was getting good looks at the basket, but missed a few three-pointers early on.
“He missed some good looks in the first half, it just didn’t go down for us, but he didn’t let it bother him,” Vinyard said. “Like good shooters do, they just keep doing the right things technique-wise and shoot the next one, and he did, and he got it rolling, he hit four big ones for us after that.”
The icing on the cake for the night was the announcement of the $10,000 Gasconade County Math and Science Scholarship, which went to Hermann’s Carter Hemeyer.
From the Feb. 7 game, Vinyard said he knows he wants the team to clean up the little things defensively in preparation for districts.
“We’re getting better at them, so hopefully we’ll just continue to believe that we can get better at them over the next few weeks before we go to districts,” Vinyard said.