ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW JOST
Coach Rex Ostmeyer said Wednesday he was feeling wonderful-and he had good reason to.
The previous night, the Marion Warrior boys made short work of their contest against non-league rival Centre, outscoring the Cougars by 13 points in the second quarter on their way to a 60-39 win.
“It was a good win for us on the road against a friendly-rivalry team in the county,” Ostmeyer said. “We enjoy playing them.”
Centre enjoyed a short-lived lead at the start of the game, jumping ahead with a pair of quick baskets. But it didn’t take long for the Warriors to get rolling. At the end of the first quarter, Marion was sitting on the better half of a narrow 12-9 margin.
“The first quarter was pretty contested,” Ostmeyer said. “We were playing OK-not great but not bad. The second quarter was kind of the deciding factor.”
During that quarter, Marion outscored the Cougars, 20-7. Ostmeyer said his team had everything in rhythm.
“Offensively, the second quarter (Tuesday) may have been as well as we’ve played all season.”
Nickolas Hett led Marion’s surge with nine points during the quarter, including one 3-pointer and several 2-point jumpers.
Balancing Marion’s outside attack, Joe Svitak scored four points down low.
“(Centre) was playing a zone defense, and we were just moving the ball real well and knocking down open shots and getting some easy shots,” Ostmeyer said.
By halftime, Marion’s lead had ballooned to 32-16.
As play resumed in the third though, a rested Cougar team battled back against the Warriors with new determination, raining down 12 points from beyond the arc.
“They did score 15 points in the third quarter, and to their account, they just knocked down some shots,” Ostmeyer said. “Sometimes people can just hit a shot. It’s not like they were standing there wide open.”
Despite their offensive rush, the Cougars couldn’t cut into Marion’s lead, and the Warriors safely escaped the quarter with a 15-15 stalemate.
“We never had one of those lapses that we’ve had where we went three or four minutes without a basket,” Ostmeyer said. “We scored pretty consistently the entire game.”
Through the final quarter, Marion continued to extend its lead, holding the Cougars’ offense to single digits for the third time that night.
“I really thought that defensively we played pretty consistently all night,” Ostmeyer said. “We were able to hold them to nine points or less in three of the four quarters.”
Nickolas Hett finished the night with 15 points, as well as five assists and three steals.
“Nickolas started feeling his offensive game again,” Ostmeyer said. “He was in the flow pretty well, but (our scoring) was very, very balanced.”
Jared Hett contributed nine points, and Joe Svitak finished with eight points, nine rebounds. Clayton Chamberland had eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
“Clayton is a guy that I’d take 10 of him every year,” Ostmeyer said. “He’s just a kid that does so many things for you nobody even notices.”
Ostmeyer described the game as a night of consistent action.
“It was a good win to get,” he said. “Hopefully we’re starting to get on track a little bit at the right time of the season.”
Ostmeyer’s Warriors (9-5) have a full schedule during the upcoming week. Following last night’s matchup at Wichita Independent, Marion battle the Railers at Herington.
In addition, last week’s postponed game against Salina Sacred Heart has been rescheduled for Saturday afternoon. Starting time was not yet available.
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW JOST