Marion boys fall to Halstead in sub-state opener

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion boys’ basketball team concluded its season last Tuesday night with a 62-58 loss at Halstead in the first round of the sub-state tournament.

Marion won the first quarter, 20-11.

“We played great the first quarter,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “Halstead scored right at the end of the quarter to cut it to nine.”

But in the second quarter, Halstead outscored Marion 20-5 in to grab a 31-25 lead at halftime.

“The second quarter was a disaster for us,” Ostmeyer said. “The problem was we took a few poor shots and we didn’t make a number of other shots that were good but just didn’t go in.

“Still, we were only down by six at halftime and we were feeling pretty good.”

Marion bounced back, grabbing a one-point lead. But Halstead nailed a guarded 3-point shot as the quarter ended to go on top 43-41 after three quarters.

Halstead continued its surge into the fourth quarter, building an eight-point lead before the Warriors cut that lead to a single point in the final moments.

“Our kids played incredibly hard and showed a lot of heart,” Ostmeyer said. “You could tell how much they wanted to win and that makes you feel good as a coach.”

Halstead held the Warriors at bay, however, by converting free throws down the stretch to preserve a four-point win and end Marion’s season with an 8-13 record.

“I’ll be honest, we just didn’t get any breaks down the stretch and I’m talking luck-just the bounce of the ball,” Ostmeyer said. “It’s just too bad we came up short because we deserved to win.”

Leading the Warrior offense was Nick Carlson with 17 points followed by Dale Vogel with 14 and Travis Hett 11.

Marion connected on 22 of 47 field goal tries (47 percent) while Halstead hit 21 of 42 (50 percent) from the field.

The Warriors were 12 of 18 from the free throw stripe while Halstead was 16 of 22.

The Warriors hauled in 27 rebounds, led by Vogel with 12.

Ostmeyer said although the season didn’t produce the record they hoped for, he identified several positive achievements.

“We played at a much higher level than I’ve ever had a team play throughout the season,” he said. “These guys’ effort this year will only benefit us down the road.”

Playing their final game in a Marion uniform were seniors Nick Carlson, Tyson Heidebrecht, Adam Heerey and Dale Vogel.

“None of these guys except Dale had played any varsity and he was just a role player,” Ostmeyer said. “Those four kids had such desire and work ethic since I got here and improved so much it’s just unbelievable.

“They bought into what I was telling them that it would benefit us to be in the new league even though our record didn’t show it,” he added. “These four are a huge part of the future of Marion basketball because their commitment to off-season work has to rub off and show the younger kids what they have to do to play varsity.”

For the season, Vogel led the Warriors in scoring with an average of 15.8 points and Jason Hett averaged 10.1 points.

Vogel also led the team in rebounding, averaging 8.5 a game.

“We lost seven games where we led late but we didn’t finish well,” Ostmeyer said. “Our biggest obstacle was finding consistency.

“But I was very proud of these kids and the effort they gave every single day they came to work,” he said. “You can’t ask for much for than that as a coach.”

More from article archives
Real Cooking
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CHERYL JOST Repository or depository? I can’t decide which word...
Read More