Wednesday, January 20th, 2021
Soaring no more
Roughriders put an end to Marion's win streak
By Tom Haines
St. Marys' Kendall Dieringer draws a foul near the baseline against Marion Local. . .
MARIA STEIN - For the first time since Dec. 3, the Marion Local girls basketball team walked away with a loss.
After 11 straight games of suffocating opponents with top-tier defensive pressure, the Flyers were discombobulated by the St. Marys press and unable to contain the Roughriders' top scorers, as St. Marys toughed out a 49-40 win at the Hangar on Tuesday night.
"They just hit big shots when they needed to," Marion coach Beth Streib said. "Offensively, we could just never really get in the flow of everything. Out of sync, not reversing the ball, passing, hitting the open people. Everything was just a step-off."
The Flyers got the best of a tightly contested first half, and Marion was able to hold onto the edge for most of the first three quarters. The Flyers forced eight turnovers in the first half and held St. Marys to 9-of-18 shooting.
The Roughriders trailed by three at halftime and by five early in the third, but in the second half, the Roughriders found their way. Marion's struggling offense couldn't pull away, and with 2:05 left in the third Noelle Ruane hit a three to tie the game at 31. A minute later another three, this time by Kendall Dieringer, gave St. Marys its first lead since the first quarter.
Clinging to a two-point lead heading into the fourth, the Roughrider defense stepped up. St. Marys allowed just two field goals in the final frame as the Marion offense sputtered under the Roughriders' pressure.
"We told them to pass through that press and we were trying to dribble through it way too much," Streib said. "We had people running down the floor hiding. When we passed through it, we were able to break it, but when we tried to dribble through it, typically we had a turnover."
Lindsay Koenig tied the game for Marion early in the fourth and after both teams traded missed baskets, Dieringer gave the Roughriders the lead with 4:45 to go. Heidi Rethman tied it again after a timeout, and Dieringer responded on the next possession to keep the advantage with St. Marys.
This time, Cora Rable hit a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to four. Alana Pohlman cut the lead to three with a free throw, but that was as close as the Flyers would get as Dieringer made another basket and the Roughriders made the free throws to close it out.
"They're long, they're lanky, they're disruptive, and they play hard," St. Marys coach Jon Burke said. "So we had to match that. I think our defensive intensity was what won the game for us tonight. We rebounded really well against a team that's much bigger than us. Really proud of the effort our girls gave."
Dieringer led the way with 22 points, while Ruane recorded a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. On the defensive end, Ruane also took on Alana Pohlman and held the future Findlay Oiler to seven points and four rebounds.
"Offensively, she was strong, had some good shots," Burke said. "Defensively, probably went unnoticed, but she shut down Alana Pohlman for most of the night. I think most of Pohlman's shots were free throws. But really proud of (Ruane). She was all over the boards, a great offensive weapon for us."
St. Marys has a chance to keep the momentum going Thursday when it hosts Kenton in a Western Buckeye League matchup. Marion Local will have to return to form quickly as it heads into a battle with Minster on Thursday that will have ramifications at the top of the Midwest Athletic Conference.
"Making better decisions, the mental part of the game," Streib said about improvements heading into the Minster game. "Physically, we can hang with most teams."