Marion shrugs off slow
start to pick up easy victory
By RANDY BRUNS
MARIA STEIN — Like a car on a cold winter morning, the
Marion Local Lady Flyers had a tough time getting started Monday
night against the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds.
Once the engine was fully revved, though, it purred like a kitten,
as the Flyers dominated the final three quarters to pull away
for a 57-35 victory at the Hangar on senior night.
The win improves Marion’s record to 14-3, while LCC drops
to 4-13 with the loss.
Playing their third game in five days, the Flyers struggled
mightily out of the gate on offense in scoring just two points
in the first frame. Fortunately for the hosts, their defense
was up to the task as it held the T-Birds to just three points.
When the second quarter began it looked like both teams were
ready to make up for lost time, as they traded baskets for a
10-10 tie midway through the period. Marion then put on a mini-run
with eight straight points before LCC sank a bucket and a three-ball
to whittle the gap to three points.
Maria Moeller’s driving layup at the buzzer gave Marion
a 20-15 advantage going into the halftime break.
The T-Birds stayed within five until midway through the third
period, when the Flyers turned it on. Two straight jumpers by
Bridget Schmackers started the run, and after the second of
two baskets by Rachel Thobe, the Flyers found themselves in
control for good with a 42-25 lead.
“We needed to get our legs back, because this was our
third game in five days,” said Marion coach Treva Fortkamp.
“It took us a while to get going but once we hit that
first bucket we started to go. Then in the third quarter we
really got on a roll and did what we needed to do.”
With both teams playing a pressing defense, the tempo turned
up a notch in the second half, and Marion’s athleticism
proved to be the difference.
“Moeller got in the open floor against our press in the
second half,” said LCC coach Bill Taflinger. “When
she gets in the open court you’re just asking for trouble.
She started finding some people and they got good looks and
put the ball in the basket.”
Marion got a much-needed balanced scoring effort, as six players
scored six or more points.
“I was glad to see the balanced scoring,” said Fortkamp.
“We addressed that yesterday in practice and I told the
girls we don’t have to get 16 or 18 points from some of
them. As long as we win, I don’t care if five of them
have eight points apiece.”
Schmackers, playing the final game on her home court, led the
Flyers with 12 points on a six-of-nine shooting effort.
“Bridget and Holly (Fortkamp) share that three spot and
yesterday we had each of them shoot 25 shots from each side
of the basket and it paid off,” said Fortkamp. “I’m
happy for Bridget because she’s put her time in here for
four years and she’s a great kid. I’m glad to see
her have a big night on senior night.”
Marion returns to the rigors of Midwest Athletic Conference
play Thursday when it travels to St. Henry.