Unfortunately for the Edison basketball team, that end came a little too soon. The Chargers fell to Marion Local in Wednesday’s Division III regional semifinal game at Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center, 54-44.
It was The Chargers second straight trip, and second in school history, to the regional tournament.
Edison was able to stick close with the Flyers and even had an 11-9 lead after the first quarter.
However, turnovers soon plagued the Chargers. By halftime, they had turned the ball over 10 times but only trailed by three points. It wasn’t until the third period that Marion Local capitalized on those turnovers.
The Flyers strung together a 7-0 run late in third period to take a 41-28 advantage. Edison senior Nick Frederick put an end to the stint with a three-pointer to pull the Chargers back within 10.
The fourth quarter was much closer as each team scored 13 points.
Marion Local did most of its damage in the interior scoring 32 points in the paint. The Flyers were led by Tyler Mescher with 21 points and four rebounds.
“First off, I think Marion Local deserves a ton of credit,” Edison coach Kyle Hammond said. “Mescher is a heck of a player. He’s a load on the inside. It was tough for us to stop him.“
“They did a good job of making us a perimeter-oriented team by trying to take us out of the paint and playing physical. I’m looking here, we shot 5-for-17 from (three-point range), we were forced to take a lot of those and we just didn’t knock them down.”
Edison shot just 39% from the field all together. It had more than its fair share of shots rim out of the basket.
“We talked about empty possessions and I think a little bit of that was the nerves of playing in this venue. A little bit of that is just the pressure that (the Flyers) were putting on our wings. But there were definitely some empty possessions that hurt us. There were a few times where we couldn’t catch a break,” Hammond said.
Junior James Hill paced the Chargers with 16 points and six rebounds, while Bryce Ostheimer scored 11 points and had four rebounds and two assists.
This was the final game for seniors Braden Ehrhardt, Nick Frederick and Ostheimer.
“Any time a team gets here back-to-back, it’s a good feeling,” Ostheimer said. “We didn’t quite have the nervousness we did last year, but things just didn’t go our way. For us to reach this two years in a row kind of speaks volumes. When the previous class left, a lot of people had some doubts about us. But we just knew what we could do and we just stuck to it. We just worked as hard as we could at every moment.”
Frederick, who is a part of the state semifinal football team, said this past year has been quite an experience.
“It’s been quite ride. Academically, athletically, we’ve done well. It’s gone from a long football season to a long basketball season to now all of our spring sports. It’s constantly a busy, fun ride but somber at the same time.”
Due to an injury last season, Ehrhardt was unable to play in the school’s first regional semifinal appearance. But this year, he was the quarterback of the football team and had a lot to do with the basketball team’s success.
“It was a great atmosphere. It was a lot of fun out there,” he said.
Hill added: “These guys, and our entire class, are really great leaders, they’ve led us to a lot of success and have set a pretty good example for us to follow.”
Hammond choked up while talking about his seniors.
“They represent what I wanted the program to be about. They’ve been resilient and they’ve worked extremely hard. I’ve said this before, I have a two-year old son and if my kid grows up to be like them, I’d be a very proud dad. They do everything you want as a coach. And as great as success as what they’ve had in sports, I think there’s a lot of people that will tell you that they’re better people.”
Roberts 2-0-4; Ehrhardt 3-1-7; Ostheimer 4-0-11; Frederick 1-0-3; Hill 7-2-16; Scott 1-0-3. Totals 18-3-44.
M. Local 54
Bruns 5-1-13; Everman 0-2-2; Rethman 1-0-2; Prenger 1-0-2; Mescher 10-1-21; Thobe 4-5-14. Totals 21-9-54.
Edison 11 10 10 13 — 44
M. Local 9 15 17 13 — 54