A bad start turned into a bad half, which turned into a bad game for the Warriors on Friday, as the Bennington Bulldogs cruised to a 53-37 victory over the host team.
“They’re 14-2 for a reason, they’re pretty good at what they do,” head coach Jeff McMillin said.
The Warriors were already without key reserve Jack Schneider, who injured his knee last week. When Bret Voth went down with an injury in the second quarter, the challenges got even steeper for the Warriors.
“There are certain people that you know when they’re laying on the floor that they are hurt,” McMillin said. “Bret’s not going to lay on the floor if he’s not hurt, he’s going to play if he’s not hurt.”
McMillin said Voth would have been especially important for the Warriors against the Bulldogs’ 1-3-1 zone. He said Voth typically roams the middle of the court, looking for gaps in the zone and creating by either passing or driving.
“They’re probably the best 1-3-1 team we played, so having him out was tough,” McMillin said. “We had some challenges.”
Bennington’s point guard Josh Fief wreaked havoc on the Marion offense, using his long arms to create turnovers. He was the point of attack in the 1-3-1 zone, trapping Marion ballhandlers and aggressively pursuing steals.
“He is tailor-made for that defense,” McMillin said.
The Warriors finished with 20 turnovers and 7 assists.
A bright spot in the game for the Warriors was the play of Nicholas Stuchlik, who battled inside for 16 points and 9 rebounds. Senior Jacob Baldwin added 5 points and 8 rebounds, while Mason Pedersen added 8 points and 4 assists.
Tuesday at Moundridge
Marion traveled to Moundridge on Tuesday and fell 52-30. The Warriors committed 17 turnovers, which has been a problem for MHS this season.
Jacob Baldwin led the Warriors with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Voth was able to play, but managed just 4 points.
The Warriors will face Ell-Saline on Friday at home.