Marion Local Turns Things Around With Lollipops

Sometimes motivation is round and sweet.

After some struggles taking care of the ball in back-to-back losses to New Knoxville and Minster and a come-from-behind win over a one-win Celina team, Maria Stein Marion Local coach Treva Fortkamp looked for something to help her girls get back into the form they had when they started out 11-0.

The solution was found at the concession stand.

“I bought them all a sucker before the game,” said Fortkamp. “I thought that could stimulate their brain.”

The plan worked as the Flyers played well in beating backyard rival St. Henry, 43-40.

“I don’t think I’ll go broke buying suckers. I’ll buy ‘em the next game, too,” said Fortkamp.

THREE TIMES TWO: Findlay Liberty-Benton has been blessed with some outstanding basketball players. A.J. Granger won an NCAA championship with Michigan State; Aaron Craft is a two-time All-Big Ten selection for Ohio State and his little sister, Cait, may soon be, too; Amanda Hyde, a senior at IUPU-Fort Wayne, is the reigning Summit League Player of the Year and leading the Mastodons in most major categories once again.

But none of them were able to accomplish what Lauren Kotey did in a 47-31 win over Carey in a matchup of state-ranked teams. A 6-foot-2 junior center, Kotey scored 14 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked 11 shots, the first triple-double in school history to lead the Eagles over the Blue Devils.

TRIPLE DANGEROUS: Defiance Ayersville’s Molly Hammersmith had a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 72-51 victory over Van Buren, adding five steals and three blocks. The 5-11 sophomore then totaled 19 points, 11 rebounds, six steals, four assists and four blocks in beating Haviland Wayne Trace, 63-59.

FAST START: Defiance’s boys led Sherwood Fairview 37-0 before the shutout was broken with 2:15 to go in the second quarter. The Defiance lead was 28-0 after one quarter, 39-2 at half and 57-4 after three quarters in a 64-23 victory.

BUSY WEEK: Fort Recovery’s Elijah Kahlig hit game-winning shots twice last week in Midwest Athletic Conference games.

Kahlig, heading to the University of Findlay where older brother Greg is a top player, started the week with a jumper with 2 seconds left to help the Indians beat Delphos St. John’s, 49-47. Then on Friday he hit another jumper with 0.8 seconds left for a 39-37 win over state-ranked Versailles. Kahlig is averaging 22.8 points per game to lead the MAC.

PRODUCTION LINES: Freshman Ethan Linder had a big week for Haviland Wayne Trace, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the second half of a 57-53 victory over Paulding, notching 18 of his 19 points in the second half in a comeback 67-53 win over Defiance Ayersville and then pouring in 37 points in a 73-67 victory at Lima Shawnee; Elida’s Dakota Mathias, a 6-5 guard who has signed with Purdue, had 23 points and 22 rebounds in a 67-48 win over Bowling Green on Saturday night; and in Defiance Tinora’s 94-74 win over Stryker on Saturday night, Tinora’s Derek Drewes scored 34 points and Stryker’s Parker Ruffer hit for 33.

RECORD WATCH: Junior guard Luke Kennard became Franklin’s all-time leading scorer last weekend, passing his uncle Todd Kennard. Todd had 1,434 points. Luke entered the weekend with 1,427 points, then scored 49 against Germantown Valley View and 38 against HCYA (Texas).

NEVER TOO LATE: Lima Central Catholic trailed Lima Bath by 17 points going into the fourth quarter Saturday night but went on a 24-3 run to start the final quarter and won 52-50. Bath’s only field goal in the fourth quarter came with one second to play; trailing 58-53 with two minutes left in overtime and its top two scorers and rebounders on the bench after fouling out, Sandusky Perkins scored seven straight points, including Chase Green’s putback as time expired to give the Pirates a stunning win over visiting Huron. In the win, senior Nic Williams set the school scoring mark with 1,300 points; and Zanesville Rosecrans’ Molly Nash hit the go-ahead basket with 5 seconds left and took a charge in the final second to seal a 46-44 win against No. 8 Stow-Munroe Falls Sunday at the West Muskingum Route 40 Classic. A day earlier, Nash assisted on Samantha Swackhammer’s game-winning basket in a 50-47 win in their showdown against Zanesville.

NOTE THIS: Delta led Wauseon 20-2 early in the second quarter but the Indians outscored Delta 67-26 the rest of the way in handing the Panthers their second loss of the season, 69-46; Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown’s girls have been to seven straight state tournaments with four state titles including Division II last March, but are now 1-16; Norwalk’s 61-47 win at Toledo Whitmer Saturday marked the 56th straight regular season win; longtime Waynesfield-Goshen girls coach Ted Patton resigned Friday and offered no comment; Zanesville Maysville’s girls extended their regular season winning streak to 37 straight games with a 75-46 win against McConnelsville Morgan; and Isaac Fitzgerald was 5 for 5 from behind the 3-point line in the first quarter to lead St. Marys Memorial to a 53-28 win over Rockford Parkway on Saturday.

FIRST OF MANY: In a matchup of future Big Ten opponents, Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame’s Naomi Davenport and Clyde’s Amanda Cahill put on a shooting display at the 10th Classic in the Country Challenge Sunday at Berlin Hiland.

Davenport scored 33 points on 15-of-20 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds in Notre Dame’s 67-61 win over Clyde, snapping the Fliers’ 43-game regular-season winning streak in the process. Meanwhile, Cahill countered with 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting and added eight rebounds and five assists.

Davenport’s 33 points tied former two-time Associated Press Ms. Basketball and current Ohio State starter Ameryst Alston for most points in a single game at the Classic, while her 15 field goals is a record. Cahill’s 32 points tied for second-most points.

Davenport, a nationally-ranked junior, has verbally committed to Michigan. Cahill, a senior, has signed with Indiana.

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Rusty Miller can be reached at

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