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Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Strong start carries St. Henry to victory over Marion

By Gary R. Rasberry

Marion Local's Katrina Brand, 34, shoots over St. Henry's Brooke Mattingly durin. . .

ST. HENRY - The perfect description of the play of Tuesday's Marion Local-St. Henry girls basketball game came from Flyers coach Treva Fortkamp, who said she wouldn't have used her league pass to watch the game.
Each team turned the ball over 29 times in the contest, including a combined 22 times in the fourth quarter.
It was the start of the game, however, that told the tale. The Redskins came out strong and took the Flyers out of their game.
St. Henry came away from the game with a 55-45 win to go to 6-11 on the season and 3-4 in the Midwest Athletic Conference. Marion drops to 6-9 overall and 2-4 in league play with the loss.
"Credit to St. Henry," said Fortkamp. "They wanted it more. They were physical at the beginning of the game. It was a physical game. It was an ugly game. I don't think I would have used my MAC pass to watch this game."
Marion Local was 0-for-11 from the field in the opening quarter, making just three free throws as the Redskins took an 11-3 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
The Flyers worked their way back in the second quarter, cutting the lead to 21-18 at the buzzer with a Rachael Puthoff three-pointer.
"(Marion) was always playing catchup and hit a shot at the end of the first half," said Redskins coach Charles Maier. "...They closed it to within three with that shot, but we kept the pressure on."
Unfortunately, for the Flyers, three points was all the closer they would get in the contest. With the Marion defense bottling her up inside, Redskin center Brooke Mattingly worked her magic on the outside, nailing three of her four three-pointers in the second half, including two in the third quarter that helped St. Henry raise its lead to nine points at the end of the quarter and into a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.
"They thought she couldn't shoot it out there. They found out she can," said Maier of Mattingly, who was a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc. "Coach (assistant coach Jeff Roessner) and I talked about that. She has that capability. Against (Marion, with 6-2 Megan Barhorst and 6-3 Erin Brand), we might have to have her step out."
"Mattingly was extremely flashy from three-point land," said Fortkamp. "We continued to leave her wide open and she killed us. We cut it to four and she drains a three."
Things would get dicey in the fourth quarter for the Redskins as Marion went to a full-court man defense, followed by Mattingly getting her fifth personal foul with 2:52 left in the game. Both teams turned things over often in the final minutes, with St. Henry getting credited with 13 turnovers.
"We kept the pressure on and tried to stay with them and see if they would make mistakes, which they did, then we would too," said Maier. "We come down and make an unforced error. It was crazy. We can't have that."
The Flyers worked to get the deficit down to 51-44 with 1:15 left, but did not get another field goal the rest of the way as Flyer shooters were also 1-of-4 from the foul line down the stretch. Becky Dirksen and Julie Moeder came up down the stretch, hitting all four of their combined free-throw attempts in the final 49 seconds to push the lead back into double digits for the Redskins.
"Becky hit some real key free throws," said Maier of Dirksen, who was 6-of-8 from the line in the fourth quarter. "She don't make those, it gets tighter and tighter. ... She hit some key free throws, as well as Julie Moeder. That really gave us a nice cushion."
"The thing is, (we) competed the whole game. They played hard and I give them credit. There were times where we really don't play hard the whole game. Tonight they did."
"You know what? We have 29 turnovers, we shouldn't win," said Fortkamp.
Mattingly paced the Redskins with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting overall while Dirksen and Kenzie Bruggeman each added eight points.
Brittany Thobe had 12 points to pace the Flyers.
Both teams are on the road for regular Thursday night conference games. St. Henry heads to The Barn to face New Knoxville while Marion makes the short jaunt east to face Minster.
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