Duo powers McComb by Calvert

Panthers’ Hemminger and Herr combine for 31 of team’s 39 points

PHOTO BY JONATHON BIRD Calvert’s Mallary Nielsen (right) battles for position under the hoop against McComb’s Lauren Grubb Monday in Tiffin.

It wasn’t the best performance for McComb Monday night, but it was enough to get a win over Calvert.

A non-league win, but an important win for coach Jeremy Herr, who tallied his 100th victory. His dynamic duo of seniors Nora Hemminger and Jenna Herr combined to score 31 of McComb’s 39 points in the 39-29 victory.

“The effort is always there for them, but the shots just were not falling tonight,” Coach Herr said. “Jenna has been averaging about 30 points the last three games, got half of that tonight. Nora is only three points away from 1,000 points now, so hopefully she will get that at home Thursday.

“As far as getting to 100 wins, it just means I’m old and just coached too long,” he said with a smile. “The girls always give good effort and we had a lot of youth and some injuries early, but they are starting to bring it together. Even though I’m not happy with tonight’s performance, at the end of the day, it’s still a ‘W.'”

Hemminger had 16 points, while Herr finished with 15.

“They’ve played together actually a lot longer than four years with club ball and they have good chemistry as they are good friends off the court,” Coach Herr said. “They are both quick, they both have good ball skills and a good nose for the ball on defense and they kind of feed of each other’s energy. If one gets going, the other tends to follow suit.

“It’s fun to watch. I’m going to miss them.”

McComb (4-7) didn’t get off to a fast start Monday as Calvert (1-9) led 8-7 after the opening period. The Senecas scored the first four points of the contest with dump downs to Mallary Nielsen in the post for a pair of buckets. The Calvert offense couldn’t sustain anything, however, as it turned the ball over 28 times.

“They didn’t quit the whole time and they played hard,” Calvert coach Pat Herron said. “We got a little lax on defense occasionally and they scored a couple easy baskets and they got that lead.

“It comes back to the turnovers. I think we had about 28 to 30 again tonight, somewhere in that area. It’s back to what I’ve said, they see the white shirt there, but they don’t see the two defenders in between the two of them. It’s something there, but I really don’t know.”

Trailing 8-7 after one period, McComb started to roll a bit offensively in the second and shut down the Senecas’ offense. Maddie Buck and Herr drained 3-pointers in the period, but Herr dominated down the stretch of the first half, scoring McComb’s last nine points to give the Panthers a 20-11 advantage at the half.

“At the start of the second half I challenged someone to guard (Herr) and Lexie (White) said she wanted to,” Herron said. “She didn’t do that bad of a job. It was a lot of pick and rolls and switches, and she scored a lot on when we should have switched and things like that.

“The big thing was when they started running a lot of offense late and running a lot of time off the clock, that’s what really hurt us.”

Hemminger finished off the Senecas with 10 points in the second half, which was a half where McComb outscored Calvert just by one (19-18). White led the Senecas with 14 points, while Nielsen chipped in six.

“Feeding it into the post has been our problem,” Herron said. “It’s not just the person throwing it, sometimes it’s the post not getting open. If we can get the ball in there and chuck it back out, we’ll get some nice shots.

“We had some nice shots tonight, I mean more than we’ve had in the past. Then we got to a point in the game where our rebounding was like playing volleyball and popping the ball in the air. We worked on rebounding this week and we will work on it again next week and pulling the ball down strong.”