Hett boys lead MHS to opening win

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Marion coach Rex Ostmeyer knew coming into the season that Jason Hett and Travis Hett would need to show leadership on the court for the Warriors to have success. If Friday night was any indication, Ostmeyer won’t have to worry about that part of the Warriors’ chemistry.

Fueled by 25 points from Jason and 14 by Travis, the Warriors used a strong second-half pressure defense to break open a close game on the way to a 64-41 win over Chase County.

“Chase County had seven seniors and most of them had played last year, plus they’re quite a bit bigger than us-so I was concerned about that,” Ostmeyer said. “But we wore them down in the second half and I think Chase County ran out of gas.”

Early, though, the outcome looked bleak for Marion when Jason Hett was relegated to the bench with foul problems.

The result was a 13-12 Bulldog lead after eight minutes. By halftime, the game was knotted at 25.

Key to Marion’s success, according to Ostmeyer, was a nine-man rotation that eventually wore down the Bulldogs and forced 26 turnovers.

“I think they got tired of facing the pressure,” Ostmeyer said. “We actually started executing our offense and got a lot of easy baskets because of that.”

Marion had outscored its host 17-6 in the third quarter to grab a 42-31 lead.

“We didn’t get a whole lot of turnovers that resulted in direct layups,” Ostmeyer said. “But mostly we got the ball back and set up our half-court offense. Probably the biggest thing was that our shot selection really improved.”

Even though Ostmeyer went to his bench extensively down the stretch, the Warriors still outscored the Bulldogs 22-10 in the final quarter to cruise home with a 23-point win.

Jason Hett made nine of 15 shots from the floor, including one of two from the 3-point line. He also made six of eight free throws.

Although at a height disadvantage, Marion fell one rebound short of Chase County, 39 to 40. Travis Hett hauled in nine rebound and Jason Hett eight.

“They hurt us early in the game, no doubt,” Ostmeyer said. “But as the game wore on and their big guys got fatigued, they became too tired to rebound.”

Ostmeyer credited his post defense with a solid job.

“I thought (Jeremy) Vondenkamp, (Russell) Ploutz and (Josh) Kelsey played very well on the inside,” he said. “We didn’t shoot incredibly well, but we missed a truckload of inside shots especially in the first half.”

Marion hit 24 of 62 shots (38.7 percent) for the game while Chase County made 14 of 48 ( 29.2 percent). Marion made four of 16 shots from the 3-point line while Chase County made three of eight.

At the free-throw line, Marion made 12 of 18 attempts while Chase County made 10 of 18. The Warriors committed only eight turnovers compared to 18 for Chase County, leading to to 23 Marion points. The Warriors were credited with 17 steals, led by Calvin Jeffrey and Emmanuel Jackson with four each.

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