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01-10-04: Marion falls short to Pleiman, Redskins

Standard Correspondent

FORT LORAMIE — As a rule, coaches don’t like to talk much about moral victories. Bring up the subject, they’ll usually tell you that the only victories that count are in the scorebook.
After Marion Local’s 69-61 loss to the Fort Loramie Redskins Saturday night, Flyer coach Keith Westrick didn’t exactly use the term “moral victory,” but one could tell from listening to him that he was awfully pleased with how his team played.
“I was very impressed with how our kids came out tonight after a tough loss against New Knoxville (on Friday),” said West-rick. “Tonight showed me a lot about these guys. They didn’t get down, and if anything they just got more determined and decided that they were going to get it done. I think this was a sign of some very good things from this team.”
While an eight-point loss may not seem to be anything to write home about, it was the way the Flyers scrapped that heartened Westrick. Although Fort Loramie came into the game as the number-four ranked team in the state, the Flyers showed no sign of being intimidated.
Even after a first half that saw Fort Loramie center Jordan Pleiman shred the Flyer defense for 19 points, the visitors gave as good as they took in the second half.
Pleiman, who will play hoops for Wright State next year, was just short of being perfect on the night. The senior scored 42 points in all, including a 15-for-16 performance from the field and a 12-of-13 showing from the foul line.
Still, despite Pleiman’s dominance, the Flyers were in this one until the final minutes. A quick 10-4 lead at the start of the game helped the visitors’ confidence, and it seemed to stay with them throughout the game. Each time the Redskins would establish a lead the Flyers would come storming back to make things interesting.
While the Redskins were able to score by dumping the ball down low to Pleiman, the Flyers had to extend their offense out a little further. Ryan Winner in particular provided a boost from the perimeter, as he hit on four of his eight attempts from behind the three-point arc.
Marion’s best chance to grab a lead in the second half came midway through the fourth quarter. Russell Moeller converted a conventional three-point play to draw his team within five, but Marion then missed the front end of a one-and-bonus two straight times. Undaunted, Moeller then stepped behind the arc and drained a trey to pull the visitors within a bucket and force a Fort Loramie timeout.
From that point on the hosts went to what worked for them all night long — Pleiman. After two Mitchell Goldschmidt free throws, Pleiman hit a pair of freebies and two quick bunnies to extend the lead back out to 10, and the Flyers were too far down to recover.
Cory Luebke led the Flyers (7-6) in scoring with 25 points, and Moeller and Winner each added 14. For the Redskins (13-1), Goldschmidt joined Pleiman in double digits with 18 markers.
Marion’s next game will be a home makeup game Tuesday night against Newton. There will be no junior varsity game, and the varsity action will begin at 7:30 p.m.


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