Owen Treece of Van Wert drives to the hoop against Marion Local on Saturday night. (DHI Media/Chris Howell)
Owen Treece of Van Wert drives to the hoop against Marion Local on Saturday night. (DHI Media/Chris Howell)

VAN WERT —Van Wert might have taken an extra four minutes to take care of the Flyers, but they hung on to avoid a heartbreaking loss on Saturday night, beating Marion Local 50-46.

When you come out to the "Cougar Den" for a game there are three things that you can count on happening.

That list includes a 50-50 drawing, the "Lee Kinstle Hot Shot" competition, and a spectacular performance from Owen Treece.

Okay, so maybe the third thing isn't a guarantee, but it has come to be something that Cougar fans have seen a lot of throughout the season.

Van Wert's star Junior guard scored 30 of the Cougars 50 points on the evening to lead them to a four point victory over Marion Local.

The Cougars led after one 10-8, thanks to Treece's seven first quarter points jump-starting the home offense. Jake Hilleary added the remaining three points in the quarter on his way to finishing as Van Wert's second leading scorer on the evening with nine.

The Flyers got 3-point field goals from Alex Eyink and Alex Klosterman in the quarter, along with a bucket from Bryce Moeller to tally up their eight points in the first.

Marion Local took the lead back early in the second on back-to-back threes by Eyink and Matt Everman to make the game 14-10, but the Cougars found help from their supporting cast in the second to keep the lead from getting any larger.

Ethan Brown sparked a 7-0 Van Wert run that consisted of a Clayton Proffitt three and a basket by Treece, but whatever the Cougars could do in the second, Marion Local could do better.

The Flyers fired off eight points in a row with threes from Moeller and Charlie Huelsman, followed by a layup from Eyink.

Jake Hilleary cut the lead to two late in the half when he found the mark from distance to make the score 22-20 Marion Local after one half of play.

The Cougars came out of the locker room and took advantage of a slow, five point third quarter by the Flyers to regain the lead.

Treece took it upon himself to bring his team back, scoring seven of Van Wert's nine points in the period, taking a 29-27 lead into the fourth.

A free throw by Peyton Otte tied the game up 34-34 at the two minute mark and sent the game into thrilling territory.

Free throws by Brown and Treece put the Cougars back up four with 31 seconds to play, but the visiting team wasn't about to go down quietly.

Eyink drilled a double-clutch three from the top of the key to cut the game to one, and forced Van Wert to make their free throws down the stretch if they wanted to win.

Nate Jackson failed to convert on the front end of a one-and-one, but Treece stole the ball immediately after the Flyers rebounded the miss, and proceeded to nail two free throws when the Flyers intentionally fouled him.

The Cougars were now up 40-37 with eight seconds left, and Marion Local was suddenly in need of a three with the full length of the court in front of them.

The Flyers in-bounded the ball and rushed down the right side of the court, where the Cougar defense collapsed on the ball-handler, leaving Charlie Huelsman open on the left wing. Huelsman found nothing but the bottom of the net with his shot and sent the game to overtime.

After tying the game up in regulation, Huelsman scored the first two points of overtime and would go on to score all of the Flyers six points in the extra period.

Treece immediately struck back for the Cougars with a cold-blooded three pointer, and that was the last time Marion Local would have the lead on Saturday night.

Huelsman managed to tie the game back up at 46 with the last two of his 14 points, but it was all Van Wert from here on out.

Treece hit two free throws to go up 48-46 before a traveling call on Brady Ronnebaum would give the Cougars the ball back with 11 seconds on the clock.

Van Wert's ensuing in-bounds play would feature a long baseball pass to Owen Treece resulting in a game-sealing layup and a flex from the man who stood out as the player of the game.

The 50-46 victory brings Van Wert's record to 3-7 overall and 1-2 in the WBL. Their next game is on Friday against state-ranked Ottawa-Glandorf.

MARION LOCAL 8 14 5 13 6 46

VAN WERT 10 10 9 11 10 50


Alex Eyink 16, Dane Goettemoeller 0, Bryce Moeller 5, Jason Hess 0, Charlie Huelsman 14, Brady Ronnebaum 0, Alex Knapke 0, Peyton Otte 3, Matt Everman 3, Reece Hess 0, Nathan Ungruhn 0, Alex Klosterman 5, Ben Knapke 0.


Clayton Proffitt 3, Owen Treece 30, Keaton Brown 4, Tanner Barnhart 0, Nate Jackson 0, Kolby Barnhart 0, Parker Conrad 2, Colin Place 0, Ethan Brown 2, Spencer Adams 0, Jake Hilleary 9.