girls_basketball_150As they sit at 3-3 in Midwest Athletic Conference play and 5-11 overall, the Delphos St. John’s Blue Jays are looking for a shot of momentum in the next couple weeks as the Division IV tournament looms.  The Blue Jays slipped in league action to Coldwater two weeks ago, but they got things going in the right direction last Thursday with a victory over the St. Henry Redskins.  This Thursday, Dan Grothause’s girls travel to Maria Stein to square off against Treva Fortkamp’s Marion Local Flyers.  “We have been struggling all season long to be more consistent on both ends of the floor, and we did get big efforts from Madilynn Schulte (16 points), Rachel Pohlman (7 points), and Sydney Fischbach (12 rebounds) in a big win versus St Henry last week,” Grothause explained.  “Obviously a win this week at Marion would mean a lot at any point in the season, but it is always great if you can get quality wins heading towards the tournament to help continue to build your teams’ confidence.”

The Blue Jays have been paced this season by sophomore Sydney Fischbach at 7.4 points-per-game and she is also the leading rebounder with seven each time she takes the floor, enjoying four games this season in which she walked off the court with a double-double.  Grothause has also been receiving solid production from freshman Jessica Geise, who hits six points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. The Blue Jays also have four other girls who average four points per game or better in the 2013-14 campaign.

On the other side of the floor, 12th-ranked Marion Local has slipped in three of their last four Midwest Athletic Conference games to move to 3-3 in league play and 13-3 overall.  Brooke Winnner leads the area in scoring at more than 15 points-per-game and also pulls down five rebounds per game, just below teammate Emily Mescher who is one of the best in the area at 6.1 rebounds per contest.  Grothause understands the challenge that his troops face in Mercer County on Thursday evening.  “They are well-coached, tough kids, who play especially aggressive on the defensive end and don’t allow you to get comfortable in your offense,” he pointed out.  “In order to come away with a win, we have to limit our mistakes and don’t give them any easy baskets off turnovers. We need to make them work offensively and limit them to one shot by controlling the boards.  Marion Local is so tough at home – it will take a big TEAM effort to get a win at the Hanger.”

by Robb Hemmelgarn