By Mark Ruschau
MARIA STEIN -- The Marion Local Flyers used a strong second half to pull away from a stubborn Parkway Panthers team, 60-42, Friday in the boys half of a girls-boys varsity only Midwest Athletic Conference doubleheader at the Hangar.
Marion Local crawls back to .500 on the season, both overall at 4-4 and in conference play at 1-1. Parkway falls to 0-3 in league play and 1-8 in overall.
This ballgame was a story of two halves for both teams as Marion Local led 25-21 after two periods. In the first half Marion Local hit just 10-of-33 shots from the floor. Parkway hit on 5-of-16 from the floor but they stayed in the game by shooting 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
As both coaches related in their post game comments, the halftime break had different effects on both teams. For the Flyers, they found their shooting touch as they hit 14-of-28 from the field in the second half. Parkway, on the other hand, was limited to just six field goals in the second half.
"We came out more focused on defense and that got things going offensively," said Marion Local coach Keith Westrick. "Things were a little different tonight with the girls game and I think that change may have been a factor with the way we played in the first half. I think we pulled ourselves together and played well in the second half." "All this year we have had trouble coming out of the locker room at the half," said Parkway coach Rusty Allen. "It just seems like we lose something in the locker room and I don't what it is. We make adjustments at the half and it frustrating not to come out and execute."
On its first trip of the second half, Parkway cut the lead to two, as Mark Snyder scored inside. That was to be as close the Panthers were to come however as on the Flyers' first trip of the half, Wes Everman canned a trey to rebuild the Flyer lead to 28-22.
After a Jordan Thompson free throw made the score 28-24, Ryan Stucke canned another three to make the score 31-24. After a Parkway miss, Ryan Winner made three-for-three from the free-throw line for the Flyers, making the score 34-24.
"We didn't to anything special offensively to get those shots to start the second half," said Westrick. "We run our offense in such a way that if we get the kick out to our shooters they have the green light to shoot. Each case it was a different guy and that's excellent.
"We just lost our guys defensively," said Allen. "We talked about Winners shooting all week long and once Stucke hit a couple in the first half we talked about finding him. When those two knocked those threes to start the second half it was disappointing to see after we talked about it."
After Parkway cut the lead to 34-26, Marion Local went inside to outscore the Panthers 10-4 to take a 44-30 lead after three periods. Kyle Moeder scored twice inside, Kyle Seitz and Stucke each scored once inside to fuel the period-ending run.
Parkway was able to cut the deficit to nine on two different occasions in the final period, the last time at 47-38. The Flyers got consecutive baskets from Curtis Moeller to rebuild the lead to 51-38 and Parkway came no closer than to 11 the rest of the way.
Winner led the Flyers in scoring with 14 and Moeder added 10.
Snyder led the way for Parkway with a game-high 18 points while also adding 11 rebounds.