Eddie Muench did what a shooter is supposed to do. He kept shooting.
Never mind the fact that he is a freshman playing in just his second varsity game. Never mind that he struggled to hit the mark from 3-point range in the first half. And never mind the fact that he shares the court with some talented veteran teammates, who would have made it easy for him to shut things down a bit and wait for the next game.
Nope. He did what he’s supposed to do. He kept shooting.
“It’s a hard thing to do as an athlete to continue to have the confidence and continue to shoot the ball,” Lourdes coach Dennis Ruedinger said. “It says a lot about his mental toughness.”
Muench overcame the rough start by drilling back-to-back 3-pointers coming out of halftime to ignite a huge second half for Lourdes Academy in a 53-36 win over Cambria-Friesland at The Castle on Tuesday night.
The freshman finished with four 3-pointers, three in the second half, and was one of three Knights in double figures with 14 points.
“(I’m thinking) next shot. The next one’s gotta go in,” Muench said. “All the coaches just telling me to shoot more and my teammates getting me the ball. It’s an awesome feeling knowing they count on me.”
After a sluggish first in which the Knights never led and trailed 26-21 at intermission, Muench’s consecutive 3s gave Lourdes its first lead of the game and provided the boost it needed to pull away for the win.
Lourdes outscored the Hilltoppers 32-10 over the final two quarters to improve to 2-0 on the year.
“”We were looking for Eddie to get some shots up,” said senior Kyle Hellmann, who added 13 points. “I’m glad he got some shots down. He really worked hard for it. It was really an uplifting part of our game.”
“The shots went in, everybody’s intensity raised up.”
Hellmann, who was held scoreless in the first half, drained three 3-pointers in the third quarter as Lourdes took a 38-32 lead into the final period, where it held Cambria-Friesland without a field goal.
Charlie Noone, who matched Muench’s 14 points for the team high, scored six straight points in a 10-0 run midway through the fourth quarter that all but sealed the win.
“Our defense started to pick up in the second half,” Muench said. “Everyone was into it, the crowd was into it. It gave us a little rhythm.”
It was quite a change from the first half when the Knights fell behind 7-0 to start the game and finished just 4-of-18 from behind the 3-point line in the first half.
Muench’s first 3-pointer of the night tied the game at 14 early in the second quarter, while Sam Seibold kept Lourdes close with four straight points, but Cambria-Friesland still was able to grab the lead at halftime.
“We had good leadership at halftime from our players,” Ruedinger said. “You don’t need be a coach like me to know we didn’t have the energy to play the basketball in the first half. The kids knew it too. The coaches didn’t have to say much.”
Notes: Hellmann added a team-high eight rebounds in the game. … Owen Schaalma led Cambria-Friesland with 13 points, while Spencer Bylsman chipped in 10. … Lourdes finished 10-of-33 from 3-point range in the game. … The Knights committed just six turnovers compared to 12 for the Hilltoppers.
Camb.-Fries….12 16 6 4 — 36
Lourdes Acad….11 10 17 15 — 53
Cambria-Friesland: Pulver 3, Schrandt 2, Bylsma 10, DeYoung 8, Schaalma 13. 3-pointers: 1 (Bylsma). FTs: 3-10. Total fouls: 12.
Lourdes Academy: Hellmann 13, Seibold 6, Muench 14, Noone 14, Gelhar 1, Enders 5. 3-pointers: 10 (Muench 4, Hellmann 3, Noone 2, Enders). FTs: 5-10. Total fouls: 15.