Marion girls lose first round of sub-state

Staff writer

Marion freshman guard Kirsten Hansen had seven points for the Warriors coming off the bench, including three-for-three from the free-throw line, Feb. 27 in the Warriors’ sub-state game against Hillsboro. Hansen had a good overall game with five rebounds to lead the team, two offensive, and three steals.

“When she goes out there she gives a good effort,” head coach Kelly Robson said. “Kirsten was willing to throw her body around tonight.”

Robson thought Hansen could have scored even more if she had slowed down on drives to the basket. She was especially effective changing direction along the baseline.

Her defense was also effective, picking Hillsboro point guard Danae Bina’s pocket on multiple occasions, an act Bina committed herself to the tune of seven steals in the game.

Katey Ehrlich and Julia Hall each hit contested layups in the second half for the Warriors. Kaelyn Thierolf hit two free throws.

That was all the scoring for Marion.

The Warriors shot 11 percent from the field in the game, a 64-13 Hillsboro victory. They put up a goose egg in the second quarter for an 11-0 Hillsboro advantage. Hansen scored a traditional 3-point play, following an outlet, inbounds pass to beat a Hillsboro press to snap a 16-0 Hillsboro run to start the game. Hillsboro followed that run with 22 consecutive points to go up 29-3 at halftime and 38-3 before Thierolf hit two free throws in the third quarter.

The Trojans’ pressure defense forced 29 Marion turnovers and created 21 steals. Four Hillsboro players recorded two or more steals, including Addie Lackey with four takeaways.

The plentiful amount of Marion turnovers influenced how the Warriors played offense. Robson said the goal was to have Marion wing players shoot quickly.

“The longer we held the ball the more likely we were to turn it over,” Robson said.

When Hillsboro was not converting steals into fast break layups, they were using long rebounds — Marion shot 0-for-13 from beyond the arc — to quickly get in transition.

The Warriors did have some success on defense. Robson said the goal was to force Hillsboro to shoot long shots. The Trojans went 3-for-14 from downtown, but collected 15 offensive rebounds, which most often led to short putbacks. Bina had five offensive rebounds followed by Lackey and Tena Loewen with three offensive boards each.

“Tonight, that was a much better team than us,” Robson said. “They’re better athletes than us.”

Despite the ignominious end to the season, Robson saw the Warriors make progress. The team added two wins to the total from the 2011-12 season.

He believes a freshmen nucleus of Hansen, Marshelle Mermis, and Bailey Robson should make similar progress next season.

“I saw effort,” Robson said of Warriors season. “I don’t want to coach anybody else.”

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