Coach Norman Dale

There’s a, um tradition in tournament play- not to talk about the next step until you’ve climbed the one in front of you. I’m sure going to the state finals is beyond your wildest dreams, so let’s just keep it right there.

(3-12-17)  When the OHSAA boys basketball tournament started not many of the local high school basketball  experts were picking the Marion Local Flyers as a District title champion and advancing to the Regionals.  The Flyers ended the regular season at 14-8 (7-2 MAC) and they were nowhere to be found in the final AP D III rankings. When the seeds came out for the Lima Senior District, they were seeded #3.

When you look back on the season it was another late start for the Flyers due to another State Football Title by the football team in the fall.  That is becoming a yearly habit, so give Marion Local basketball a lot of credit for adjusting to that situation.

In the SSN preseason look at what Marion Local Coach Kurt Goettemoeller said:

Goals for this season

Try to get better everyday learning to be consistent with our preparation. Play our best basketball in February and March.

Marion Local’s Tyler Mescher – courtesy Snap In Time Photography

The Flyers started the season with Junior Tyler Mescher and Sophomore Nathan Bruns as the only two returning starters and both have proved they are a big part of this tournament run.  It has been a total team effort to make this team tournament ready.

Marion Local’s Nathan Bruns – courtesy Press Pro Magazine

In their biggest test of the tournament run, they beat State-ranked Wayne Trace (22-3) 66-65 on Saturday night,  thanks to a Bruns game-winning three from the right corner with just two seconds remaining in the  game.  Bruns finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds  and a big key was the the Flyers shooting 50% behind the line  (11 of 22).  Four players stepped up to hit those 3’s, Bruns and Tyler Prenger had 3 treys, Matt Kahlig and Matt Rethman both added two apiece.

Marion Local Head Coach Kurt Goettemoeller told the Crescent-News after the win:

“What an unbelievable basketball game. We just hit big shot after big shot. We just kept battling the whole way.”

The Flyers now advance to the D III Regionals as a member of the ‘Sweet 16’ and will play Milan Edison on Wednesday (3-15) at Bowling Green.  Edison beat Western Reserve 44-35 to win the Norwalk District and they might be a little surprised if they read the game story of their District title win in the Sandusky Register on who they are playing:

Sandusky Register story –

The Flyers are just two wins away from going to Columbus, it’s been a season of building for the right time and overcoming some obstacles.  It’s a tribute to the Marion Local basketball program to be the only Mercer County representative still playing tournament basketball.

D III Boys Basketball Tournament Brackets

How both teams reached the Regionals:

Marion Local

(14-8, 7-2 MAC)  17-8

#3 seed at Lima District

  • beat #8 Allen East – 64-46 – Sectional Final
  • beat #2 Spencerville – 44-42 – District Semifinal
  • beat #1 Wayne Trace – 66-65 – District Final


Milan Edison (13-9) 16-9

#2 seed at Norwalk District

  • beat #10 Bucyrus – 72-40 – Sectional Final
  • beat #4 Margaretta – 38-32 – District Semifinal
  • beat #3 Western Reserve – 44-35 – District Final

This Regional match-up features one team with 8 losses and the other with 9, but both are 3-0 in the tournament. That’s what makes HIGH School basketball tournaments so much fun.