The Marion High School boys’ basketball team very quickly established a 10-point lead Friday at Canton-Galva, and the Warriors never looked back as they cruised to a 60-31 victory.
The Warriors used their athleticism to pressure Canton-Galva up and down the court. The result was Marion having more steals than turnovers, 12 to 9. By forcing turnovers and winning the rebounding battle, 27-17, MHS attempted 18 more shots than CGHS. The Warriors also had a higher shooting percentage, 50 percent to 36 percent.
The Warriors led 17-7 after the first quarter and extended the lead to 32-14 at halftime. Jacob Harper had four 3-point plays in the first half alone with two 3-pointers and two old-fashioned 3-point plays. He finished the game with 23 points.
The Warriors continued to pour it on in the third quarter, while making a point of sharing the ball and making the extra pass on fast breaks. MHS led 58-20 at the end of the third quarter.
Marion used its reserves for almost the entire fourth quarter as the game went to a running clock. As the Warriors slowed down the offense, Marion’s only fourth-quarter points came when Morgan Wheeler posted up a CGHS defender. Against the reserves, Canton-Galva made a little bit of a run, leading to the final score of 60-31.
Despite the wide margin of victory, head coach Jeff McMillin saw plenty of room to polish the team’s game.
“We were about as sloppy as we’ve been tonight, and they know it,” he said after the game, citing missed layups and missed assignments on defense.
He said the team played without focus, relying on athleticism to win the night, taking gambles to get steals. It worked Friday night.
“The guys that we have are ball-hawks,” he said, complimenting the tenacity of Austin Pedersen and Taylor Heidebrecht.
He also said the team showed off a little bit when the lead was at its largest, but he couldn’t be upset about it because they were showy in the name of sharing the basketball, making extra passes.
Harper led the team in scoring with 23 points, and he had 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Pedersen had 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal; Zac Robson, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals; Jordan Hett, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 steals; Ethan Hett, 5 points, 1 rebound, and 2 assists; Heidebrecht, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Wheeler, 2 points and 1 rebound; James Jones, 6 rebounds and 1 block; Timothy Knolla, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 steal; Wiley Lundy, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; and Bret Voth, 1 rebound.
The Warriors played Remington at home Tuesday night. They won the game by a final score of 40-39.
Up next for the Warriors is a home matchup against the Hillsboro Trojans on Friday. After that, they go on break until Jan. 4.