Saturday, February 13th, 2010
By Randy Bruns
Indians dominate play in second half
Fort Recovery hits 34-of-42 from charity stripe to improve to 15-1
MARIA STEIN - The Fort Recovery Indians rebounded from a disappointing second quarter with a dominant second half in soundly defeating the Marion Local Flyers, 60-40, on Friday night at The Hangar.
The Indians are now 15-1 overall and their 7-0 Midwest Athletic Conference mark leaves them tied with St. John's atop the league, with the rub-off game between the two on tap for next Friday. The Flyers drop to 7-7 on the year and 4-3 in conference play.
The pace of the game early on was comparable to a snail's sprint, as the Flyers were in an offensive rut and were down 8-1 with just two minutes left in the first period. Brian Heitkamp then hit a three-ball late in the quarter but Cody Fiely drove in for a layup at the buzzer, and the Indians were on top 10-4.
The second quarter was a nightmare for the visitors, as seven turnovers in the frame allowed the Flyers to make a run. Travis Winner stuck back his own miss to start the Flyer charge, and after Ryan Mescher and Josh Berning hit from the lane, Winner struck again from close range. The result was an 8-1 run for the hosts, and they had their first lead of the night at 15-13.
The first half ended with the score knotted at 16, but the pace of the game would take an entirely different look in the second half.
Marion jumped out by three on another triple from Heitkamp, but Fort Recovery's Greg Kahlig was quick to answer. The senior scored eight unanswered points in under two minutes, and the visitors were up by five at 26-21.
Winner countered with a stickback to pull the Flyers back within three, but the Indians then bombed away from outside the reservation. Kahlig, Cody Fiely, and Craig Tobe all hit treys in a 12-1 run that gave the visitors a 38-24 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
The action in the final frame took place mainly at the free-throw line, as the visitors toed the charity stripe 20 times and connected on 18 of them to steadily build their winning margin.
"In the second quarter we were trying to force things that weren't there," said Fort Recovery coach Brian Patch. "As bad as that second quarter was, the second half was a heckuva lot better. We knew they were hand-checking and fouling a lot, and we've seen tapes where they play a lot of guys and if they get beat they just foul you. Our goal was to attack them offensively, get to the hole and hit free throws, and that's what we were able to do."
Patch's strategy worked to perfection for the Indians, who went to the foul line 42 times on the night and converted 34 of them for a sparkling 81 percent success rate. The main beneficiary was Kahlig, who made just two of his first six freebies but nailed 20 in a row in the second half en route to a 34-point performance.
Heitkamp led the Flyers with 14 points and Winner contributed 11 markers.
"We have to move our feet better and not pick up the fouls," said Marion coach Keith Westrick. "We kind of lost our composure when things were going against us and it just got uglier and uglier. We had to stay in our man (defense) and they were able to penetrate well enough that they kept getting to the free-throw line."
Both teams return to action tonight with nonconference games. Fort Recovery returns home to take on Houston while Marion hits the road to take on Spencerville.
Additional online stories for this date
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• Roughriders remain winless in league play