Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
By Randy Bruns
Flyers upset Indians to open the postseason
Division IV Sectional at Coldwater
COLDWATER - Winning is seldom easy at Coldwater's Division IV sectional, but the Marion Local Flyers did it in extremely tough fashion on Tuesday night.
The Flyers dominated the Fort Recovery Indians for the first 23 minutes of action but had to hang on for dear life at the end before prevailing by a score of 47-43 at The Palace.
Marion Local (11-12) advances to Friday's 6:15 p.m. sectional final against New Bremen (17-5), while Fort Recovery ends its season at 18-5.
The Indians and Flyers were extremely familiar with each other after Fort Recovery had earned a hard-fought 60-52 win over Marion Local just four nights ago in the regular-season finale for both teams. Marion Local was torched for 39 combined points by Fort Recovery's stars Wade Gelhaus and Elijah Kahlig in last week's matchup, but the Flyers switched things up by focusing most on the dynamic duo.
"We used the triangle-and-two that St. Henry had used a couple weeks ago (against Fort Recovery)," said Marion Local's coach Kurt Goettemoeller. "It was very effective because we have the size to play it. They couldn't get anything going inside and we did a great job on Gelhaus and we made Kahlig work for everything."
The Flyers, who never trailed in the game, steadily built their lead to as many as 16 points late in the third quarter after a three-point play by Luke Knapke. The Indians, though, responded by scoring the last four points of the quarter to start their comeback.
When the final frame began, the Indians ratcheted up their pressure defense and the Flyers began to stumble. The Indians scored six unanswered points while the Flyers missed three straight free throws, and though they made three of their next four, the Flyers held just a four-point lead after a three-point play by Gelhaus with two minutes left in the game.
The Indians later moved to within two points at 45-43 after a trey by Jackson Hobbs, but after a turnover by the Flyers, Gelhaus missed a pair from the charity stripe that would have tied the score.
Dustin Seitz then hit one of two from the free-throw line to give the Flyers a three-point advantage and Hobbs' potential tying three-ball fell short. Cole Griesdorn then sank a free throw with one second left to seal the win for the Flyers.
"I didn't think we played a very good first half," said Fort Recovery coach Brian Patch. "The execution wasn't very good and I didn't think our effort was very good. We knew exactly what they were going to do by triangling us. We worked all week on it, but it's been the story all year long where guys do it Monday through Thursday but when the lights are on and it matters, we don't have guys step up and hit those shots."
Though they committed 23 turnovers and connected on just 11-of-24 (46-percent) from the free-throw line, the Flyers were able to control most of the game due to a 52- 26 advantage in rebounding.
"Despite our size we've been getting beat on the offensive glass," stated Goettemoeller. "It was a point of emphasis in practice this week that we had to rebound the basketball with five guys, and that was probably the difference in the game."
Patch could not believe how much the Flyers dominated the glass.
"That was the big difference, was them killing us on the glass," said Patch. "We've never been out-rebounded like that like we were tonight."
Knapke led the Flyers with 18 points while hauling in nine rebounds, while Ryan Bruns gathered 12 caroms and Adam Bertke pulled down nine. Kahlig's 18 points paced the Indians.
TICKETS - Tickets for the boys sectional final will be on sale tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. in the high school office and during the school day in the high school office on Thursday and Friday. Tickets will also be sold before school both Thursday and Friday in the elementary school.
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Partly cloudy, breezy
Partly cloudy, breezy