Marion boys lose at Moundrige
The Marion Warriors boys’ basketball team lost its first game of the year Friday at Moundridge, but head coach Jeff McMillin was more disappointed by the way his team played than by the loss.
He said the Warriors were lackadaisical in passing and movement.
“Clearly, it was by far our worst game,” McMillin said.
He said the team played hard but not necessarily intelligently at both ends of the court. And for probably the first time all season, the Warriors were faced by an opponent that exceeded their hustle.
The Moundridge Wildcats were ranked fifth in Class 2A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.
Marion got out to an early lead, but Jacob Harper got into foul trouble in the first quarter, and Moundridge went on an 11-0 run to end the quarter with a 16-9 lead.
Harper scored a flurry of points early in the second quarter to tie the game at 16, but the teams traded runs, and Marion trailed at halftime, 28-24.
Harper and Jordan Hett scored early in the third quarter, and Marion retook the lead, 29-28. Moundridge quickly retook the lead and didn’t relinquish it for the rest of the game. Moundridge led at the end of the third quarter, 36-31.
The Warriors put together several mini-runs to trim the lead in the fourth quarter, but each time Moundridge pushed back with their own run. Moundridge won, 57-48.
Hett led Marion in scoring with 24 points; Harper had 21 points. They were joined in the scoring column by Taylor Heidebrecht, 2 points; and Austin Pedersen, 1 point.
For much of the second half, Moundridge used double-teams on Hett and Harper, as the rest of the Warriors struggled to score.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can play,” McMillin said. “It just didn’t come together on Friday.”
“If you learn from a loss, sometimes it’s a good thing,” he said. He expects the team will bounce back from the loss with a renewed commitment to improving, because the loss left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.
The team has Friday off before returning to action Jan. 15-19 in the Cougar Classic at Centre.