The Marion Warriors girls’ basketball team won a tight game at home against the Canton-Galva Eagles to match a close victory over them in December on the road.
Marion led in the early going, 5-4, but wouldn’t lead again until late in the fourth quarter after falling behind 6-5. Marion trailed 10-5 at the end of the first quarter and 21-14 at halftime.
Starting guard Katey Ehrlich spent most of the first half on the bench because of foul trouble. But she played efficiently and foul-free in the second half.
Canton-Galva extended its lead to 27-16 early in the third quarter, but then Marion’s defense locked up and prevented the Eagles from scoring another point the rest of the game. After the game, coach Kelly Robson said he had stayed with a man-to-man defense for too long before changing it up.
He had his team press man-to-man in the full-court but switch to a 2-3 zone defense in the half-court set. The full-court pressure forced several turnovers, and the zone defense prevented easy looks for the Canton-Galva post players.
The Warriors struggled to shoot well from the floor, as they have all year, but they were able to chip away at the lead.
Marion finally retook the lead, 28-27, when Ehrlich sank a pair of free throws with 3 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the game.
Both teams struggled to score the rest of the game, but Megan Richmond made a pair of free throws with 3 seconds remaining to seal the victory, 30-27.
For the second consecutive game, free-throw shooting was a strength for Marion. The Warriors were 11-of-15 from the line against Canton-Galva.
Scorers for Marion were Ehrlich, 8; Kaelyn Thierolf, 6; Richmond, 5; Erin Meierhoff, 5; Kirsten Hansen, 4; and Kelli Hess, 2.