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12-24-03: Flyers stay perfect, hold off Tigers

Standard Correspondent

MARIA STEIN — If the Marion Local girls basketball team was a cat, it would be using up some of its nine lives awfully quickly.
The Flyers survived another wretched night from the free-throw line and somehow managed to hang on to defeat the Versailles Tigers 42-39 at the Hangar on Tuesday night.
Marion improves to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Midwest Athletic Conference, while Versailles falls to 3-4 on the year and 1-2 in the league.
Just as in last Thursday’s game against New Bremen, the Flyers got to the foul line plenty of times. The problem once again was converting, as the hosts connected on just 11-of-24 for a sickly 46-percent. The Tigers, meanwhile, were rock solid from the stripe, hitting 13-of-17 for a sparkling 76 percent.
“We shot 50 free throws this morning and we usually shoot at least 25 a day (in practice),” said Marion coach Treva Fortkamp. “I really think it’s mental. You’ve got to go up there believing you’re going to make it, and if you don’t you’re going to miss it. We’ve been through this two games in a row now. I’ve addressed the problem and they’re aware of it, so maybe I should just shut my mouth and let them not worry about it, and maybe they’ll start making them.”
After a close battle throughout, the Flyers finally hit three of four freebies to take a 41-36 lead with 36 seconds remaining in the game. Jessica Foister then drilled a three-pointer for the Tigers to draw them within two.
Maria Moeller then hit one of two from the charity stripe to bring the lead to three, and Kara Hemmelgarn just missed a three ball at the other end that would have tied the game. Versailles got an offensive rebound and called a timeout with 2.3 ticks left, but (Continued from page 8)
Foister’s trey at the buzzer hit off the rim to end the game.
The Tigers had a lead of eight points late in the second quarter, but the Flyers scored four points at the end of the period and the first ten in the second half to pull back ahead. The fourth quarter was back-and-forth all the way, with six lead changes before the Flyers went ahead for good with two minutes remaining.
“You want to take one away from them when they’re off key, but we came up short again,” said Versailles coach Jackie Stonebraker. “What lost us the game were the little mental breakdowns, especially when they went on that 14-0 run. Those are the things we’ve got to correct.”
Moeller led all scorers with 19 points on the night, while Amber Voisard paced the Tigers with 15.
Both squads get back into action Saturday, as Versailles will visit next door neighbor Russia and Marion hosts Anna.


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