Friday, December 11th, 2009
By Randy Bruns
Flyers win behind rebounding, free throws
MINSTER - The Marion Local Flyers dominated the boards and put on a deadly display from the charity stripe to record their first win on the young season with a 51-42 victory over the Minster Wildcats.
The Flyers had lost their first two games with contributors missing due to injury and illness, but everyone was back for the Midwest Athletic Conference opener on Thursday night.
Marion improves to 1-2 on the year and is 1-0 in the MAC while Minster falls to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Statistics don't always tell the whole story, but a couple key numbers certainly stuck out in this one. Marion had a stranglehold on the glass all night long, pulling down 32 caroms - including seven on the offensive end - to just 15 rebounds for Minster. The visitors also had the decided edge in getting to the charity stripe, with 20 trips resulting in 18 points compared to a two-for-five effort for the hosts.
"It's pretty simple," commented Minster coach Nann Stechschulte. "We got outrebounded and they shot 20 free throws and we shot five, and you're never going to win a game that way."
For her part, Marion coach Treva Fortkamp was ecstatic that her team got off the schnide.
"I am very happy," said Fortkamp. "Any time you can go on the road and win a MAC game, especially at Minster where you know they're going to be a fundamentally sound and tough team, it's a good victory for us."
The Flyers got things going early by looking inside, as senior center Katrina Brand scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in the first period to help her team grab a 13-6 advantage. Midway through the second quarter the Wildcats battled back and grabbed their first advantage on a baseline jumper by Delanie Wolf, but the lead see-sawed back and forth from there until the final seconds of the half.
Brand scored on a stickback with 30 seconds left, and after a Wildcat turnover, Ashley Lochtefeld nailed one just before the buzzer to put the Flyers up by four heading into halftime.
Marion threatened to pull away early in the third, as a stickback by Kelly Schlarman capped off an 8-0 run that put the hosts up 37-24. Minster scored the game's next six points, though, and early in the fourth the Wildcats were only down by seven.
The Wildcats would later pull to within six a couple times in the final frame, but then the Flyers began their parade to the foul line. A 9-for-10 performance from the stripe down the stretch sealed the deal and gave the Flyers their first win of the year.
"I was listening to a game the other night and my idol Bobby Knight was saying that his goal was always to average one point per possession," stated Fortkamp. "For us to do that we've got to get to the free-throw line. Monday night we didn't do a very good job of that but tonight we did much better."
Brand had a stellar night with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and the senior also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Wolf and Erica Fullenkamp paced the Wildcats with 11 points apiece.
Marion will return to action at home on Saturday when Lehman Catholic pays a visit to The Hanger while Minster gets a week off before traveling north to visit The Vatican to play St. John's on Thursday.
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