Meigs Defeated in Slugfest Against Warren

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Being an official is difficult. In no other profession is it acceptable to be heckled and booed for making unpopular decisions in your workplace.

Much less when your decisions result in 70 free throws.

Yet, that was the number of attempts from the charity stripe in Tuesday’s contest between the Meigs Marauders and Warren Warriors. Emotions ran high in the game from coaches, players and fans alike as the Warriors ultimately triumphed 63-48.

The Marauders could not buy a bucket in the game’s opening minutes, not registering a field goal until Weston Baer nailed a jumper from behind the arc at the 3:45 mark in the first quarter. Both teams applied plenty of pressure on defense, but Warren’s full-court press and nonstop trapping stonewalled the Marauders initially, as the Warriors forced plenty of turnovers and exacerbated Meigs’ troubles on the offensive end.

Warren led 8-15 after the first frame, but Meigs was able to cut the lead thanks to renewed aggressiveness from Zach Bartrum. The senior guard scored nine of his 14 points in quarter two, including five free throws and a floater at the buzzer to bring the score to 29-26 Warren at halftime.

Bartrum attempted 14 free throws on the night, as the officials called the entire game very closely to the dismay of spectators from both sides. The constant stoppages in play kept quick scoring runs few and far between. Meigs’ head coach, Jeremy Hill, talked about the frequent fouls’ roles in his team’s loss.

“We can’t foul 95 feet from the bucket and get ourselves in foul trouble,” Hill said. “I think they ended up shooting 49 free throws which is unheard of, but we fouled, and so we gotta play better defense not with our hands, with our feet.”

Bartrum picked up his third personal foul early in the third quarter, and the Marauders sat him down as a result. His absence was felt, and the Warriors stretched their lead to nine points by the time he re-entered at the 3:23 mark of quarter three.

The Marauders once again bounced back and kept the game close, forcing turnovers of their own and working the ball inside. With the game halfway through the final quarter of play, Meigs found themselves down five points. However, Warren was able to string together five points in six game seconds, as Kurt Taylor would sink a three-ball and Seth Daniels would lay the ball in and be fouled in the process.

Though Daniels would miss the ensuing free throw, in a game where the Marauders had to scratch and claw for every point, a five-point swing was a death knell. Coach Hill reflected on his team’s outing after the game.

“We have to learn how to win basketball games, not everything is going to come easy, but I told them in the locker room, listen, losses don’t define you, what you do with the loss will define you,” Hill said. “We can come back in tomorrow and we can be pouty, or we can come back in and work and fix the things we did wrong.”

Meigs will next host Wellston on Friday.