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Friday, January 31, 2014 9:35 PM


DHI Correspondent

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DELPHOS — The Vatican was rocking Friday night as the St. John’s Blue Jays welcomed the 9th-ranked team in Division IV, Marion Local, to Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium and were unwelcoming hosts in beating the Flyers 60-41.

Before the game, the Marion Local football team received a standing ovation from Blue Jay Nation for winning the 2013 Division VII state title.

That was the last hurrah heard by the Flyers for the evening.

“That was the loudest I’ve heard the gym in a while,” said St. John ‘s head coach Aaron Elwer after the game. “It was a great environment to play a state-ranked team in and the kids responded to the crowd.”

The Blue Jays came out like bombers against the Flyers starting lineup of college-sized players at 6-10, 6-7, 6-6, 6-4 and 6-3. Andy Grothouse opened the scoring at the 6:10 mark with a 3-point bomb from the corner. The next time down the court for the Jays, Ryan Koester launched another missile from the same spot for another triple.

Marion Local’s next possession was cut short with a steal by Tyler Conley and ahead to Grothouse for the bucket for a 8-0 run to open the game.

The Flyers finally got on the board when 6-10 Luke Knapke — who the Blue Jay defense held to just four buckets — hit a baseline turnaround. Marion cut the lead to 10-7 before junior Alex Odenweller drained the third trey of the opening quarter from the same corner.

After Knapke grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for two, Koester stopped the Flyers the next time they got the ball with a steal. Driving coast-to-coast for the layin ended the first eight minutes with the Jays ahead 15-9.

Eric Clark opened the second quarter with a 4-footer in front of the bucket after driving between the Flyer trees for the pull-up jumper. The 5-10 Clark continued to cause the taller Flyers fits with a steal and pass ahead to Grothouse for a 10-point lead.

Evan Hays grabbed a rebound of a Flyer miss and got it ahead to Odenweller for the layinin giving the Jays a 21-9 lead. Flyer Coach Kurt Goettmoeller called timeout as the Vatican crowd exploded.

More bombs from the outside frustrated the Flyer defense, namely from Koester hitting from the corners. He hit treys from each side of the floor and hit another right before the buzzer (4 for the game en route to 18 points) to give the hosts a 31-13 lead.

Conley scored on a break against Marion Local’s full-court press to open the second half. He grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and pushed it ahead to Grothouse who was fouled on the made bucket.

The Blue Jays continued to play up-tempo when Hays grabbed a loose ball, passed ahead to Clark, who hit a streaking Grothouse for the layin and foul. After making the free throw, Grothouse stayed at the line because of a technical foul against Marion with 5:50 left in the third and the Jays lead was 40-15.

Marion Local’s Troy Homan tried to rally his team, scoring the next five points, but St. John’s continued to outplay the Flyers for a 49-28 lead at the end of three periods.

The fourth quarter began like the third — with Conley scoring on an offensive rebound and was fouled by Ryan Bruns. The Jays got in the double-bonus when Clark was fouled and connected both shots for a 54-31 lead.

St. John’s spread the court for most of the final stanza and made their free throws to seal the win.

Coach Elwer was proud of his team, saying that “we stuck to our game plan and executed it perfectly.”

Elwer was also proud of his bench play, explaining “Jake Csukker had the best game of his career guarding Knapke when Tyler went to the bench with his second foul. All of our players, one thru 11, contributed tonight for a big win.”

The next game for the Blue Jays (9-4, 4-2 MAC) will be tonight at home against Lincolnview.

Marion Local (10-3, 3-1 MAC) takes on Fort Loramie.

In JV action, the junior Jays played inspired for the first three quarters against a much-taller Flyer squad.

Turnovers took their toll as the Jays fell 52-40.

Robby Saine lead the Jays with 13 points.



Troy Homan 3-1-8, Dustin Rethman 2-3-8, Nate Nagel 1-0-3, Ryan Bruns 2-1-5, Luke Knapke 4-4-12, Adam Bertke 0-2-2. Totals 13-12/14-41.

ST. JOHN’S (60)

Andy Grothouse 6-4-17, Evan Hays 1-0-2, Eric Clark 1-3-5, Ryan Hellman 1-0-2, Ryan Koester 6-2-18, Alex Odenweller 4-0-9, Ben Wrasman 0-0-0, Tyler Conley 2-1-5, Austin Heiing 0-0-0, Jake Csukker 1-0-2, Nick Bockey 0-0-0. Totals 22-10/16-60.

Score By Quarters:

Marion Local 9-13-28-13 - 41

St. John’s 15-16-18-11 - 60

Three-point goals: Marion Local, T. Homan, Rethman, Nagel; St. John’s, Koester 4, Grothouse, Odenweller.




Justin Bohman 2-0-2, Duane Leugers 1-1-3, Kyle Homan 4-3-12, Kyle Koening 1-5-7, John Schweiterman 1-1-3, Cole Unrast 3-3-9, Collin Mescher 3-0-8, Jack Homan 3-2-8. Totals 17-15/25-52.

ST. JOHN’S (40)

Gage Sefferneck 3-2-9, Aaron Reindel 1-1-3, Robby Saine 3-5-13, Jaret Jackson 0-2-2, Timothy Kreeger 0-3-3, Jesse Ditto 2-0-4, Austin Heiing 2-2-6. Totals 11-15/23-40.

Score by Quarters:

Marion Local 7-19-10-16 - 52

St. John’s 7-13-8-12 - 40

Three-point goals: Marion Local, Mescher 2, K. Homan; St.John’s, Saine 2, Seffernick.


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