Meigs Battles Off the Buckeyes and the Flu

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Believe it or not, athletes can get sick too. When a player is absent for a game, the usual assumption is a physical injury. Yet, for the Meigs Marauders, a battle with the flu affected multiple players, limiting what they could do on the court and stopping one from playing altogether. “That game, we were just trying to get through it, honestly,” guard Kassidy Betzing said.

Meigs had been dealing with team-wide illness all week, with Taylor Swartz forced to sit out and Becca Pullins playing very limited minutes. Despite this, the ailing Marauders were able to defend their home court Thursday and beat the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes 49-39.

As the score would indicate, neither offense was able to shift into third gear, with falling behind 12-1 early in the contest. The Marauders could not maintain their hot start though, and the Buckeyes battled back, the halftime score standing at 25-16. Meigs’ head coach Jarrod Kasun pointed towards fatigue as a contributing factor in his team’s uneven performance.

“When we had our legs underneath us, you could see how well we played,” Kasun said. “We come out in the first quarter we play really well, we started getting a little tired, third quarter we came out and pushed the lead back out again.”

The third quarter did see the Marauders push the lead to 12 points, and while Nelsonville-York fought to stay in the game, turning up their defensive intensity and deploying a soft zone press in the second half was not enough to overcome their sluggish start.

Meigs was led in scoring by Betzing with 17 points. Even with the double-digit outing and the victory, Betzing seemed discontent with the team’s performance. “Right now, with that game, we’re just trying to pick each other up,” she said. Words that you would expect to hear from the losing team.

Meanwhile, Marauders freshman Mallory Hawley continued to make an impact for her veteran team. She stuffed the stat sheet Thursday, racking up two points, six rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

The Buckeyes did succeed over Meigs in certain facets, winning the rebounding battle while also having defensive spurts where the Marauders were forced into long passes that too often got picked off. By the final horn, Nelsonville-York had won the rebounding differential 22-17 and the turnover differential 7-8. Haley Hurd was especially impressive in that regard, securing six rebounds to go along with her eight points.

With things to improve on and time to get healthy, coach Kasun stressed the importance of growth from his team, who are enjoying a 4-1 start.

“Every time we come into the gym we’re here to work,” Kasun said. “And that’s what we’re trying to instill in our players is that we’re not here to mess around, we’re here to play, we’re here to get better, and hopefully we can continue it going forward.”

Meigs’ next opponent will be Gallia Academy on Saturday.