By GARY R. RASBERRY
FORT LORAMIE — Marion Local nearly shrugged off a
slow start, but in the end could not overcome a strong Fort
Loramie team in losing 59-51 at Fort Loramie on Monday evening.
The loss puts the Flyers at 15-4 on the season as the Redskins
end the regular season at 17-3, with two of the three losses
coming to Midwest Athletic Conference schools.
The very physical game, resulting in 42 total personal fouls
and three players fouling out, made for a long evening with
extended periods of time at the foul line. The teams combined
for 60 free-throw attempts in the game, with both teams shooting
well, making 70 percent of the tries.
The Redskins opened up with a strong start as Marion went scoreless
for the first half of the opening stanza. Redskin Abbie Ernst,
the lone senior for coach Carla Siegel, hit three of her first
four field goals as the Flyers were trying to keep tabs on the
sophomore tandem of Mallory Albers and Courtney Reed. Marion
was down 6-0 before scoring and trailed 14-6 before getting
a late run to cut the lead to five at 16-11 at the end of the
“We came out a little flat and they came out hot,”
said Flyer coach Treva Fortkamp. “We didn’t have
an answer for Ernst and we had to make an adjustment.”
The adjustments slowed down Ernst, but the Flyers were unable
to make any dent on the deficit they were in. The Flyers’
own super-sophomore, Maria Moeller, did her best, coming up
several acrobatic drives down the lane to score while getting
fouled. Moeller had 10 points by the halftime break. Fort Loramie,
though kept the pace and led 28-23 at halftime.
Marion came back in the third quarter and started with a 9-4
run that gave the Flyers their only tie of the game at 32-all
with 3:54 left in the period.
The Flyers never could get over the hump as Fort Loramie countered
with a 7-0 run thanks in part to sophomore center Leslie Hoelscher,
who hit back-to-back buckets to ignite the run. Loramie also
got some help from the Flyers as Fortkamp was hit with a technical
foul for disagreeing with a play during the run.
Fort Loramie stayed strong until late in the fourth quarter,
holding a 52-43 lead with 2:29 left. The Flyers, even with Moeller
sidelined with three minutes left after picking up her fifth
foul, staged one last try to get back into the game.
Kelli Stucke, who replaced Moeller, did her part with three
big free throws over two trips to the line. With less than a
minute left the Flyers cut the lead to 55-51 before Albers and
Reed each hit free throws to get to the final score.
“Every time we got close or got even, something happened,”
said Fortkamp. “It’s like trying to climb a mountain,
then you hit something and fly back down. I thought the girls
played hard. We worked on crashing the boards and rebounding.
“It’s a tough loss, but we can’t stay here
and hang our heads when we come back to play in less than 24
“It was a tough battle,” said Siegel. “I was
pleased how our younger girls (Fort Loramie played at times
with four sophomores on the court) handled the pressure in a
game like this and getting ready for tournament.”
Ernst shined in her home finale, leading all scorers with 23
points, thanks in part to 10-of-10 foul shooting. Reed added
14 with Albers and Hoelscher chipping in with 10 each.
Moeller led Marion with 20 points while Jenna Barhorst added
Marion Local wraps up the regular season tonight at St. Marys.