The Marion High School girls’ basketball team turned into kleptomaniacs in the last minutes of the Warriors’ victory over Canton-Galva on Friday.
With 2 minutes, 2 seconds left in the game and Marion up by 1, Kaelyn Thierolf stole an inbounds pass under the Canton-Galva basket. Marion drained the clock down to 46 seconds before Canton-Galva fouled Thierolf, who made one of two free throws to give Marion a 2-point edge, 37-35.
The foul also forced CGHS’s primary ballhandler, Erika Smith, to the bench with five fouls. Seeing an opportunity, head coach Kelly Robson dialed up a full-court press for the first time all game. The risk paid off, as Ehrlich stole the ball and scored, increasing the lead to 4 points. Megan Richmond also got a late steal, and Ehrlich made one of two free throws to bring the final score to 40-35. The free throw also gave her 17 points on her 17th birthday.
It was a back-and-forth game throughout. The 5-point margin of victory was the largest lead for either team. Marion also had a 5-point lead briefly in the second quarter. Canton-Galva’s largest lead was at 4-0.
Early in the game, Cassidy Enns gave Thierolf difficulty on defense because of a size difference. Thierolf repeatedly positioned herself between Enns and the basket, only for Enns to shoot over her. That created an opportunity for Corey Shields to see more playing time than she had up to that point in the season. Shields scored 5 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, but more importantly she kept Enns out of the paint and away from rebounds. Shields may see more opportunities for extended playing time if she continues to improve.
“She doesn’t get great position, but we’re working on it,” Robson said.
The victory gave Marion a two-game winning streak after struggling early in the season.
“It feels good for me, but I know it feels better for the juniors and seniors,” Robson said. “Winning takes practice, and we’ve got practice these last two games.”
Ehrlich had 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Kelli Hess had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals; Shields, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; Erin Meierhoff, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals; Thierolf, 3 points, 2 rebounds; Ericka Herzet, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Megan Richmond, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals.
The junior varsity girls also won, 42-18.
The Warriors played Remington on Tuesday at home. The final score was 39-19 in favor of Remington. The next game for Marion is Friday at home against the Hillsboro Trojans.