Friday, January 26th, 2007
Flyers earn moral victory vs. Tribe
By Randy Bruns
MARIA STEIN - A rare feat occurred at the Hangar Thursday night, as both teams came out of the game quite satisfied with their performances, despite the obvious fact that one of them lost.
As it was, the banged-up Fort Recovery Indians battled their way to a 47-34 victory, but the Marion Local Flyers may have some new-found confidence after going toe-to-toe with one of the Midwest Athletic Conference's elite teams.
Fort Recovery moves to 14-2 on the year and 5-1 in the MAC, while Marion falls to 2-13 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Normally, the prospect of a moral victory is anathema to coaches, but after seeing her squad struggle for most of the year, Flyer pilot Treva Fortkamp was effusive in praising her team on this night.
"I was proud of my girls tonight," said Fortkamp. "They fought, they scraped, and they did things tonight that they haven't done all year. We did so many good things tonight against a team that's number three in the state, and we showed we can compete. I told the girls after the game that a lot of people don't believe in moral victories, but tonight I do."
For his part, Fort Recovery chief Jeff Roessner was happy that the Indians fought their way through injuries to come away with a hard-earned league win.
"(To win) 47-34 in the Hangar - we'll take it," said Roessner. "We had three kids go down with ankle injuries on Tuesday, so they didn't practice and we weren't even sure if they were going to play. So this is the kind of win that, believe it or not, really builds character, because those (injured) kids went out there and they gutted it out and they played a lot of minutes."
From the opening tip, the Flyers showed they would be no easy mark, as they led twice in the first quarter and were down just 11-8 at the end of the frame.
Then the hosts started the second stanza with a pair of jumpers by Kim Droesch sandwiched around a bunny by Megan Barhorst, and the Flyers had a 14-11 advantage. Meanwhile, the Indians couldn't hit the broad side of the proverbial barn, as they didn't tally a single point in the first six minutes of the quarter.
The lid on the Indians' bucket then came off in the last two minutes of the half, as they got five points from Vicki Roessner in a 10-2 run that put them out front 21-16 at the half-time break.
Fort Recovery started off quickly in the second half with five straight points off Marion turnovers, but the hosts quickly countered with three straight buckets to bring their deficit down to four at 26-22.
The Indians were quick to answer, though, as Holly Stein hit a long ball and followed up with a conventional three-point play to give her team a 10-point bulge. It was a deficit the Flyers could never dent, as they got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Both teams played tremendous defense all night, as the Indians' pressure forced 25 Flyer turnovers, while the Flyers' zone held the Indians to a tepid 29-percent shooting effort from the field.
Stein led all scorers with a game-high 15 points, leaving her just six markers short of the 1,000-point threshold for her career. Roessner chipped in with 11 to help the Indians' cause, while Brittany Thobe paced the Flyers with a season-high 12-point effort.
Fort Recovery can now turn its attention to next week's battle with undefeated and league-leading Delphos St. John's, which will pay a visit to Fort Site Fieldhouse on Thursday.
"I think they're a tremendous team," said Roessner of the Blue Jays. "If we shoot 29 percent, the game will be over at halftime. We'll face a team that plays a lot like we do, and I think it'll be an interesting game for us."
Marion also returns to action on Thursday with a MAC contest at Coldwater.