Saturday, March 15th, 2014
By Gary R. Rasberry
Patriots pull away from Flyers late in game
Marion ends season at 22-6
  KETTERING - After shrugging off a third quarter run by Tri-Village to get back to within two points at the end of the quarter, Marion Local could not muster a second Patriots run in the fourth quarter.
Tri-Village held the Flyers to one point over the first six minutes of the final period, pulling away for a 62-44 win in the Division IV boys regional final at Trent Arena in Kettering.
The Patriots (26-1) advance to the state final four for the first time since 1991 - where they lost to St. Henry in the title game - on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. against Crestview.
The Flyers, coming off a long football title run that delayed the start of the basketball season until mid-December, end their season at 22-6.
"We've gone through a gauntlet in this tournament run," said Flyers coach Kurt Goettemoeller. "There are teams that get an easy game or two. We didn't get one, starting with Minster and Fort Recovery in the sectional, surviving USV (rallying from 13 down in the fourth quarter) and Arlington in the district, then beating Russia. We won 3-4 coin flip games, and luck caught up to us tonight."
The teams traded momentum through the first half of action with Marion leading 8-5 after the first quarter. Tri-Village began to pick up the pace as Colton Linkous began to find his range from the three-point line, hitting a pair of three-pointers as the teams traded the lead seven times in the final 2:44 of the first half, with Damion Cook putting the Patriots up 26-25 at the half.
"Honestly, we felt good at halftime," said Goettemoeller. "It was something of a low possession game in the first half. We got a little bit of a lead, but could never extend to five or seven points. ... Give (Tri-Village) a lot of credit."
The last shot of the first half kept the Patriots rolling to start the second half as Linkous again hit a trey to start the third quarter, but Cole Griesdorn continued his hot-shooting ways with back-to-back buckets to tie it at 29-all. Damion Cook, Tyler Cook and Mason McCabe all contributed to an 11-4 run that put Tri-Village up 40-33 with 2:29 left, but the Flyers stormed back as Griesdorn hit his third trey of the game and Ryan Bruns added two free throws to cut the deficit to 40-38 by the end of the quarter.
The fourth quarter prompted a change for the Patriots as they began to work time off the clock to get the Flyers out of the matchup zone. Marion missed (Continued from 1B)

four shot attempts and had just one point, coming on an Adam Bertke free throw, in the first four minutes of the half. Tri-Village, on the other hand began pulling away. Damion Cook and Linkous began hitting shots and when Tyler Cook scored with 2 1/2 minutes left, Tri-Village had a 49-39 lead.
"Up two in the fourth, we were having trouble getting shots due to the length of their zone," said Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester. "We talked about being patient. We spread it out a little bit, which gave us a few more creases and had a chance to run a couple more sets. Fortunately, a couple of our guys stepped up and made some big plays."
"We overcame adversity. They'd build a seven-point lead and we came back and got it to two," said Goettemoeller. "They just hit big shot after big shot. They spaced our zone out well, ran a couple plays to the foul line and throw it to the corner. Some of that was schematics. They schemed it well. Sometimes, you just have to hope they miss some shots, and they were not missing anything in the second half (Tri-Village was 11-of-20 from the floor in the second half)."
Marion tried to get back into the game, but every score was answered. Now in the bonus, Tri-Village made their free throws, making their first eight in the final 56 seconds before missing one, the only missed free throw by the Patriots all evening in 15 total attempts.
"We made perimeter shots and did a good job of rebounding the basketball," said Sagester, whose team out-rebounded the Flyers 26-19. "We made free throws tonight that we didn't make the other night. In games like this, you have to make free throws and perimeter shots. We got stops when we needed them."
Damion Cook led all scorers with 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from the line. Linkous added 19.
Griesdorn led the Flyers with 13 points. Bertke concludes a stellar basketball career with 11 points while Bruns added 10. Luke Knapke, playing with a broken finger that Goettemoeller said would need pins placed in his finger after the season to complete his recovery, did not attempt a shot in going scoreless before fouling out late.
Additional online stories for this date
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