Saturday, February 3rd, 2007
Cavs start slow but finish strong
By Randy Bruns
Coldwater's Cory Klenke, left, and Marion Local's Chris Stucke, right, chase aft. . .
MARIA STEIN - The Coldwater Cavaliers certainly didn't start fast Friday night at the Hangar, but they scored in a flurry when they needed to in pinning a 49-42 loss on the Marion Local Flyers.
Coldwater moved its season record over the .500 mark at 8-7 and evened up its Midwest Athletic Conference slate at 3-3, while Marion fell to 6-6 on the year and 3-3 in the league.
The Cavaliers mimicked the ice-cold weather outside in the first quarter, as they scored just two points on a 1-for-12 effort from the field. The Flyers were more efficient on offense and vaulted out to a 9-2 advantage after the first stanza.
Marion still looked to be in control late in the second, as it held a 10-point lead with under two minutes left in the period. After a Coldwater free throw, though, the visitors got a big three-ball at the buzzer from Joe Thomas that brought them within six at 22-16 going into halftime.
The Cavaliers dominated the third quarter, and they did it with two quick bursts. Consecutive three-pointers by Seth Kahle tied the game at 26-all midway through, and it looked like the score would remain the same until the fourth quarter began.
The final few seconds of the period proved pivotal, though.
Tony Harlamert was fouled near the midcourt line with just six ticks left, and a disagreeing Flyer was called for a technical foul. Harlamert calmly canned four straight freebies, and on the ensuing possession, Kurt Riethman drained an NBA-deep trey at the buzzer. What was a tie game had quickly turned into a commanding seven-point bulge for the Cavaliers.
The Flyers weren't through, though, and scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to draw back within one. The Cavaliers quickly built their lead back up to six, but once again the Flyers drew back to within one with three minutes left in the game.
A pair of free tosses from Eric Lefeld and a bomb by Cory Klenke quickly put the visitors back up by six, though, and the
hosts would never get closer than four the rest of the way.
After the game, Coldwater coach Mike Kanney talked about his team's recovery from its horrid start.
"I felt like we got some good shots in the first quarter but they just didn't fall," said Kanney. "Fortunately, our defense played well enough to keep us in the ballgame. When you do that and hang in there, good things will happen. I thought in the second quarter we did a much better job of attacking their matchup zone and getting good shots and making them."
For the second straight week, the Flyers were victimized by the long ball in a league game, as the Cavaliers connected on eight of their 20 attempts from behind the three-point arc.
"Probably the biggest thing was losing a couple of their perimeter shooters," said Marion coach Keith Westrick of his team's defensive woes. "We knew they were great penetrators, so we had to keep them out of the paint and match the best we could on the perimeter, but they just knocked them down from out there."
The Cavaliers also outgunned the Flyers from the foul line, as they hit on 17 of their 22 freebies. The hosts shot only 10 free tosses all game and made just five.
Kahle led all scorers with 16 points, including four three-pointers, while Chris Stucke paced the Flyers with 14.
Coldwater gets a week to rest before resuming MAC action next week when Delphos St. John's pays a visit to the Palace, while Marion will host Fort Loramie in nonconference action tonight.