Friday, December 7th, 2012
By Randy Bruns
Indians edge Flyers for a 4-0 start to the season
MARIA STEIN - It was organized chaos inside The Hangar on Thursday night as the Midwest Athletic Conference season began with the Marion Local Flyers hosting the Fort Recovery Indians.
The pace was frenetic and the play was a little ragged, but in the end the Indians found order within the disorder and came away with a 63-60 victory.
The win puts Fort Recovery's record at 4-0 while Marion Local falls to 1-2.
From the beginning it was clear that this wouldn't be a methodical, possession-based game with the two sides combining for 30 points and 14 turnovers in the first quarter alone.
The Flyers were down 13-5 at one point but put together a 14-point run to grab a six-point advantage early in the second period. It was nip and tuck throughout the rest of the first half and Tori Lennartz gave the Indians a 33-31 lead at the half by scoring on a late stickback.
Marion Local climbed back on top early in the third quarter on the strength of 11 points from Chelsea Winner, and the hosts appeared to have some semblance of control when they entered the final frame leading 50-42.
It didn't take long for that lead to evaporate.
Lennartz canned a three-ball and then a pair of free throws to bring the Indians back to within two points and Kelsey Fiely and Chelsea Pottkotter later nailed four straight from the charity stripe to tie the game at 52-all.
The Flyers later went back on top on three separate occasions, but each time the Indians answered, with the biggest coming with a minute left in the game when Pottkotter hit an open trey to give her squad a 60-59 advantage. Fiely later drained two more from the foul line with 29 seconds left, but as it turned out, the Flyers had two more chances to force overtime.
The first came when Megan Kuether was fouled while attempting a three-pointer with six seconds remaining, but the senior missed the second of three foul shots and her intentional miss of the third bounced to Pottkotter, who was fouled.
Pottkotter then went to the line and hit one of two to bump the Indians' lead back to three points. The Flyers had five seconds to get off a shot, but Kesley Smith's bomb at the buzzer barely drew iron.
"Any time you can go on the road at this place and win, it's huge," commented Fort Recovery's coach Doug Bihn. "We knew (Marion) was going to score some points because they've been in the 70's the first two games, so we thought we had to keep them down a little bit. We rebounded pretty well and it's a big win for us."
Fort Recovery's rebounding success was the reason Marion's coach Treva Fortkamp was not in the best of moods after the game.
"I don't have a big three (small forward) so that means all three of my guards, even though they're 5-foot-5, have to check out ever further," lamented Fortkamp. "They have to realize that all five of them are responsible (for rebounding) and if we don't, this is what we're going to see.
"We had an eight-point lead and we either turned it over or gave up offensive rebounds and they scored to get back into it," continued Fortkamp. "I told the girls that if they want to play at this (up-tempo) pace we have to get the rebounds first."
Lennartz paced the Indians with a game-high 23 points, while Pottkotter chipped in with 13.
Winner was the lone Flyer in double digits with 19 points.
Both squads will hit the hardwood again on Saturday with 1 p.m. junior varsity starts. Fort Recovery will host Greenville while Marion Local travels to Russia.
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