Glenn’s best falls short against Marian at Plymouth Sectional final

PLYMOUTH — Sometimes your best just isn’t enough.
That seemed to be the case for the John Glenn Falcons Saturday night as they lost a hard-fought battle with Mishawaka Marian, 61-56, the IHSAA Class 3A Sectional 19 Championship at Plymouth.
“We executed every part of what we wanted to execute,” said Glenn head coach Travis Hannah. “We just fell a little short tonight, and sometimes that happens.”
Glenn found the hot hand early and often in the game, getting the ball to junior guard Nathan Stegemiller, who knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half on his way to a game-high 25 points for the night.
The Falcons attacked the Marian defense with the dribble and were able to kick the ball back out to Stegemiller for open shots. Josh Anderson hit Stegemiller for his first long range shot with 5:37 left in the first quarter. The two would hook up again a minute into the second quarter to tie the game at 18 apiece.
The same connection would happen two more times in the quarter as the Falcons were able to get good screens from Tom Knape and Charles Dreessen to pin the Marian defene inside the lane, leaving Stegemiller open for the shot.
The Falcon defense did its job in the first half as well, holding Marian’s Demetrious Jackson in check and allowing him only four points at the half.
Glenn sat in a 3-2 zone for the entire half and held the Knights’ dribble-drive offense in check. The only downfall for Glenn in the half was that it gave up eight offensive rebounds for eight second chance points for the Marian offense.
Hannah liked his team’s defensive effort in the first half.
“You gotta pick your poison with them,” he said. “We felt like all of their offense came off of penetration, and we had to do something to take away penetration so we went to the zone. They hurt us inside a few possessions there, but for the most part I thought our kids played well.”
The second half wasn’t much different than the first. Neither Glenn nor Marian could get the one defensive stop or the one offensive basket to put its team over the top through the first half of the third quarter.
That was until the Knights’ Jackson stepped up.
He hit a 3-pointer with 4:43 left in the quarter to break a 35-35 tied and drilled another one on the next possession to put his team up six. Jackson scored 11 points in the quarter and helped build his team’s lead at the quarter break to seven at 48-41.
The Falcons had one more comeback attempt left in them in the fourth quarter.
A Jake Strong 3-pointer with 3:41 left in the game cut the Knights’ lead to two points and after two made free throws by Marian’s Jackson, Anderson made a nice baseline drive to keep the game at a two-point spread. But that was as close as the Falcons could get even though the Knights gave them many opportunities to tie the game.
In the final minute of the game, Glenn had to foul to stop the clock, putting the Knights at the free throw line. Marian hit only one of its next four free throw attempts down the stretch, giving the Falcons an opportunity to tie the game with 6.9 seconds remaining. With the ball out of bounds under the basket and down 59-56, Glenn tried to get the ball in the hands of hot shooting Stegemiller, but he wasn’t in a position to get a good shot off. His pass attempt to the corner was stolen, and Marian’s Robert Mischler hit two final free throws to seal the victory for the Knights.
John Glenn finishes the season with a record of 11-12 and says good-bye to four seniors in Pat Wolff, Anderson, Knape and Dreessen.
“Josh Anderson is probably one of the best athletes in the area in basketball and football, and it is fun coaching him,” said Hannah. “Tom Knape is probably one of the best leaders that I have ever coached. We will miss his leadership next year. Charlie Dreessen just comes to work every single day in practice, and he doesn’t say a word. He is one of the most approachable kids you’d ever want to be around. Pat Wolff has scored one point this year in the sectional semifinal last night, and I am thrilled to death for him. He is a program guy, the kid that you need around every day. He has come so far from where he was as an eighth grader. We are just going to miss all of those guys tremendously. They have set a good foundation for next year hopefully, and they are not only going to be a big loss to the basketball program but for John Glenn High School also.”
At Plymouth Sectional final
Score by quarters
Marian: 16 31 48 61
Glenn: 15 29 41 56
MARIAN (61): Demetrius Jackson 22, Coley Schultheis 11, Robert Mischler 7, Andrew Hasler 14, Devin Cannady 7; Totals: 22 7-12 61.
GLENN (56): Nathan Stegemiller 25, Josh Anderson 8, Austen Hayes 2, Jake Strong 13, Charles Dreessen 8; Totals: 22 3-4 56.
3-pointers: Marian 10 (Jackson 5, Schultheis 3, Mischler, Cannady), Glenn 9 (Stegemiller 7, Strong 2); Fouls (fouled out): Marian 7 (none), Glenn 14 (none).
Records: Marian 18-3, Glenn 11-12 (final).