MARIA STEIN – Versailles regained its early-game momentum to go on a 25-6 run over the final 11:30 of the game and defeat the host Marion Local Lady Flyers 44-31 in a Midwestern Athletic Conference contest Thursday evening.
The Lady Tigers’ trio of leading scorers – Lauren Monnin 11.9 points per game, Kami McEldowney 11.6 and Danielle Winner 10.4 – combined to net 20 of the 25 points in the rally, bringing Versailles from a six-point deficit with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter to their third MAC victory of the season.
The defensive effort during the run was outstanding, limiting the Lady Flyers to only four points in the remainder of the third period and just a lone field goal in the closing moments of the fourth.
“I think ball movement around their zone, we got inside looks from Lauren and Danielle and (Marion Local senior Emily) Mescher had three fouls,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker on the teams’ breakout. “We kept going at her. She couldn’t do much inside. She thought she might get another foul. Did a nice job going at her, rotating the ball looking for outside shots.”
The Lady Tigers took command of this game early. Five members of the orange and black scored in an opening 12-2 surge, pushing them to a 12-4 first quarter lead. Their man-to-man pressure on the ball created several Marion Local turnovers, which helped them build the advantage. This increased to 16-4 with 5:27 left until halftime when the Lady Flyers used a timeout.
From that point until the intermission buzzer a game that was firmly under control of the Lady Tigers became anything but. Marion broke out its long-range shooters. Four players would connect on a triple before half time, in the midst of a 13-1 run of its own, to come charging back to tie the game at the break 17-17.
“Kind of a roller coaster,” Coach Stonebraker said. “I felt like the first quarter we passed the ball well. Our defense was really nice in the back court. Made them make mistakes. Made them throw the ball away then we got complacent in the second. We thought we’re up by 12 … we got this. They’re going to fall apart. I’ve been in this game of basketball a lot of years and never seen a Marion Local team just fall over and say here’s the game. That’s what I told the girls in the locker room … you’re not good enough to get up by 10 or 12 and think you’ve won the game, especially a MAC team. Hopefully they learned from that.”
The third quarter opened with a new plan of attack by the Lady Flyers. They started to get the ball to their 6-foot post player Mescher. The plan was working as this allowed Marion Local to score three quick field goals on the inside to cause Coach Stonebraker to call a timeout, which was the beginning of the 25-6 breakaway.
The victory raised the Lady Tigers record to 12-6 on the year and they are 3-4 in the MAC. Marion Local fell to 9-6, 2-4 in the MAC.
The Versailles junior varsity pushed its record to 14-3 with a 43-23 win over Marion Local.
Versailles – 44
McEldowney 7, Watren 5, Schmitmeyer 4, Shimp 2, Winner 11, Monnin 15.
Marion Local – 31
Kramer 3, Rethman 2, Evers 1, Prueter 5, Griesdorn 5, Fesenmyer 3, Mescher 12.
3-pointers: Vers: 2 (McEldowney, Watren); ML: 4 (Kramer, Prueter, Griesdorn, Fesenmyer).
Free throws: Vers: 8-14; ML: 3-4.