Marion girls get 3rd win
The Marion girls’ basketball team made a comeback stick Saturday in the seventh-place game of the Cougar Classic at Centre High School. It helped that the team only had to come back from six points down against the Wakefield Bombers, unlike double-digit deficits in earlier back-to-back games.
Marion fell behind 8-2 in the early minutes, but never developed a feeling of, “Here it goes again,” coach Kelly Robson said.
Marion quickly made its comeback to take a 9-8 lead. The Warriors wouldn’t trail the rest of the game.
Corey Shields sparked the early comeback, scoring two baskets, getting a steal, and making a free throw in the first quarter to give Marion a 13-8 lead.
The Warriors used a full-court press, forcing dozens of Wakefield turnovers. Wakefield could scarcely get the ball inbounds without Marion tipping it away. Kelli Hess said the Warriors felt like they were the faster team, so they could take risks with their pressure and anticipate passes.
Marion led 23-14 at halftime, and it could have been a bigger margin if the Warriors had hit the free-throw opportunities. Marion missed the front end of a pair of one-and-one foul shots late in the second quarter.
The Marion offense continued to chug along in the third quarter with scoring by Hess, Erin Meierhoff, Shields, and Katey Ehrlich. Marion led 38-21 at the end of the third quarter.
The Warriors got their largest lead of the game early in the fourth quarter, 44-23, after two baskets by Ehrlich and a pair of free throws by Kaelyn Thierolf. Freshman Kirsten Hansen scored a pair of layups, one with Marion running a press break offense and one after making a steal.
With Marion up 50-37, Hess scored layups in the left side of the lane on back-to-back-to-back possessions, catching an inbounds pass from Hansen under the goal and receiving passes cutting into the lane from Ehrlich and Megan Richmond, to extend the lead to 56-37.
Marion won the game, 60-43. Hess led Marion in scoring with 15 points, followed by Shields, 11; Ehrlich, 10; Meierhoff, Richmond, Thierolf, and Ericka Herzet, 5 each; and Hansen, 4.
The Warriors dug themselves out of a deep hole Friday against Solomon. They fell behind 15-2 in the early going before making a comeback. Marion trailed 19-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Stout defense in the second and third quarters helped the Warriors close the gap. Marion trailed 23-17 at halftime and 30-27 at the end of the third quarter. Solomon was scoreless for more than three minutes to begin the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by Hess tied the game at 30 in the beginning of the fourth quarter, and Meierhoff gave Marion the lead by stealing an inbounds pass and scoring.
Inaccurate free-throw shooting down the stretch doomed Marion’s efforts to win. After taking the lead, Marion made only one-of-seven free throws the rest of the game. Solomon rattled off six consecutive points to retake the lead, 36-32.
Down three with about 30 seconds remaining, Ehrlich drove to the basket and scored, reducing Marion’s deficit to one, 40-39. Solomon made a pair of free throws with 15 second left to make the lead three again, and Marion was unable to make a 3-pointer at the end of the game. Solomon won, 42-39.
The Warriors play again Friday at Council Grove.