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01-10-04: Flyers fly high in second half

Marion shrugs off slow start to pick up easy victory

Standard Correspondent

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.


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