ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion boys were unable to overcome a bad start and lost their battle against the Inman Teutons on Friday, 51-45.
An abysmal beginning saw the Warriors trailing 21-9 after the first quarter and 31-15 at halftime.
“We basically didn’t want to work too hard in the first quarter, they came out aggressively and we were behind 15-2 before we knew what was going on,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “We started trying all different kinds of things.
“We were just pretty bad all around in the first half,” he added. “We wanted to be tired from the night before, and we really didn’t compete very well in the first half.”
But Marion mounted a mini-comeback in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 41-29 at the break
“We hit a 3 to close the third quarter, and that kind of got us going,” Ostmeyer said.
As the Teutons turning their own offense into a moderate stall, the momentum switched and the Warriors smelled blood.
“We made some shots and tied the game at 45 with 40 seconds to play,” Ostmeyer said. “We had all the momentum, and had outscored them 16-4 in the fourth quarter.”
But Inman ran an isolation play to their post man, who turned and scored to give Inman a 47-45 lead.
When the Warriors were unable to produce points on their next possession, they were reduced to putting the Teutons on the foul line, leading to the six point defeat.
“They made their last four free throws to ice it,” Ostmeyer said. “In these two games (at Inman), we played pretty well in three or four of the eight quarters and pretty bad in the others-we were really inconsistent.
“As I look back, that’s how we’ve been practicing,” he added. “The old adage you play like you practice has never been more evident than with this team through four games.”
Travis Hett led Marion with 17 points while Jason Hett added 15.
Marion hit just 20 of 52 shots from the field (38 percent) including two of 11 (18 percent) from the 3-point line.
“If we ever figure out we have to be both mentally and physically focused for 32 minutes, I think we’ll be pretty good,” Ostmeyer said. “Obviously, we can do some things, but we have to be able to do it for a sustained amount of time.”
With the loss, the Warriors fall to 2-2 for the season.
St. John–The Warriors lost to state-ranked St. John, 58-53, Thursday night.
Coach Rex Ostmeyer said the game was winnable, but the Warriors just didn’t do what they needed to do to win.
“We didn’t capitalize on some situations,” he said. “We just couldn’t make plays when we needed to.”
Early on, Marion gave the Tigers more than they wanted, but St. John led 13-10 after eight minutes.
Foul trouble in the second quarter proved to be a nemesis as both Dale Vogel and Jason Hett were forced to the bench because of fouls.
Ostmeyer said the Tigers took advantage of that situation.
“We let down on defense and gave up some easy baskets on penetration, but where we really struggled was offensively with those two guys sitting next to me,” he said.
“St. John made a little run to put us down by eight at halftime, but that was really about the only stretch I didn’t think we were playing pretty good ball.”
Ostmeyer said the Warriors didn’t capitalize on situations, including a technical foul on the St. John bench, where Marion could have stretched its lead to double digits.
“We just didn’t get it done,” he said. “If we’d have led by 10 points, it might have been a different game.
“The key to the game was that we were awful from the free throw line (seven of 20),” he added. “When you lose by five, it’s not hard to figure out we need to shoot free throws better,” he said. “We don’t have enough margin for error to shoot free throws like that and still win games.”
Trailing 32-24 at halftime, Ostmeyer said he didn’t feel the Warriors were ever out of the game and they proved that, cutting the deficit to 47-42 after three quarters.
Marion ultimately cut the lead to 51-48 with just over two minutes to go. But St. John’s Trey Burgan hit two free throws on his way to game-high 21 points to put the Tigers back up by five.
When Travis Hett’s 3-pointer with 1:50 to play cut the lead to 53-51, it looked to be anybody’s game.
Unfortunately, the Tigers made the most plays down the stretch to preserve the victory.
Jason Hett led the Warriors with 15 points followed by Vogel with 13.
Marion hit just 35 percent of its field goal attempts, including two of 11 (18 percent) from the 3-point line.
Marion out-rebounded the Tigers, 35-26. Adam Heerey led with nine and Vogel added eight.
“I thought we battled very well,” Ostmeyer said. “We cut the lead to two points with less than a minute to play but just couldn’t get it done.
“We had our opportunities, but if you don’t make your free throws, you can’t say a whole lot.”
Burrton-Marion used strong defense and the broad shoulders of Dale Vogel to defeat Burrton Tuesday night in Marion, 54-36.
The Warriors limited the Chargers to just 28.6 percent (14-49) shooting from the field compared to 45.4 percent (25-55) for Marion.
Both teams had trouble hanging on to the ball. Marion committed 25 turnovers and Burrton 23.
“I really think their game plan was to control the tempo and keep the score down-make it an ugly game,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “We should have been throwing it in to Dale every time in the first half, but we got trigger happy.
“I never want to tell guys not to shoot it because I want them to play with confidence, but at the same time, when you know they can’t handle you inside, you at least need to get a post touch.”
When Vogel did handle the ball, good things happened.
Vogel poured in 12 first-half points on his way to a game-high 22 to go along with nine rebounds.
Ostmeyer said the emergence of Vogel as a scoring threat has been helpful.
“Last year he was strictly a role player,” Ostmeyer said. “But I knew we had to have games like this out of Dale this season.
“Dale is the one guy who can create matchup problems for people because he’s so big and shoots so well.”
Leading just 23-21 at halftime, the Warriors took the suspense out of the outcome by outscoring the Chargers 17-0 in the first 5:17 of the third quarter.
Leading 40-21, the Warriors never let the Chargers get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Jason Hett joined Vogel in double figures with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added a team-high four assists.
With the win, Marion improved to 2-0, but Ostmeyer said the games will get decidedly more difficult from here on.
“These two were games we were probably favored to win,” he said. “The next 18 games we play will be wars, and we’ll have to get better.
“I’m pleased so far, but we have a lot of work to do.”