It would be understandable of the Marion Local Flyers and Coldwater Cavaliers took a few weeks to get on track for the upcoming girls basketball season. Both squads enjoyed extended seasons in volleyball with the Flyers capturing the Division IV state title and the Cavaliers playing through the regional final. That sluggish-start theory is anything but true at this point though, as both teams have rocketed out to quick starts on the hardwood and expect to challenge for the Midwest Athletic Conference title over the next couple of months. The pair will lock horns at the Hangar in Maria Stein this week for the second time this season in hopes of keeping their unblemished MAC records intact. They met earlier in the year in the Celina Tipoff Classic with the Flyers leaving town with the win.
The Blue and Gold currently sit at 6-0 on the young season and logged their first conference win last week over Fort Recovery. Brooke Winner and Allie Thobe have paced the Flyers offensively and defensively and have kept things rolling for head coach Treva Fortkamp in the early-going. “The girls have responded well after the run in volleyball – it has taken some time to get their legs in shape, but they have worked hard and are now getting into the flow,” Fortkamp explained. “Coldwater has good talent in the post and on the outside, and we will definitely need to know where Sarah Kanney is and limit their touches in the post. All of their girls can score, so it will be important that we limit them to one shot and play solid defense to come away with the win.”
Following the loss to Marion Local in the Celina tournament, the Cavaliers have run the table and currently enjoy a 4-1 mark at this point in the campaign. They began the MAC portion of their schedule last Thursday with a 56-28 triumph over St. Henry. Sarah Kanney leads the Orange and Black in the scoring column with Denise Schwieterman playing a vital role in both scoring and rebounding as well. Head coach Nick Fisher pointed out that Joelle Hemmelgarn and Leah Homan have also been successful contributors for the Cavaliers in the opening few games. “I think the success of volleyball, cross country, and soccer can only help us as the season gets underway,” Fisher commented. “We have several girls who participated in one of the three sports, and they all have brought a winning attitude to the team. We played Marion Local in the first game of the Ovisco Tipoff, so that experience will give us something to build from. We need to handle their press this week and work hard to defend Winner and Thobe in order to come home with the victory.”
by Robb Hemmelgarn