The Council Grove Braves missed several shots right under the basket on Friday, but the Marion Warriors had shooting woes of their own that kept them from taking advantage.
The Braves solved their problems in the second half, but the Warriors were unable to and lost, 54-49.
Marion led 9-5 after one quarter, with all of the Warriors points coming from Jordan Hett. Marion extended its lead to 21-15 at halftime, as both teams continued to have difficulty scoring.
Jacob Harper, who is usually in the running to be the top scorer in a game, was held scoreless until almost halfway through the third quarter. He was active, taking shots in and just outside the lane as usual, but they weren’t going in. Harper converted a pair of “and-1” opportunities in the third quarter, as 9 of his 13 points for the game came from the free-throw line.
Council Grove tied the game at 31 late in the third quarter and took a 35-34 lead into the final period. After a Council Grove three-pointer, Hett scored a runner, Taylor Heidebrecht stole the inbounds pass and assisted Ethan Hett to tie the game again at 38. It was the final field goal the Warriors would make in the game.
Ethan Hett was whistled on a tossup block-charge call, and the Braves took the lead again, 41-38. Jordan Hett made two free throws to cut the deficit to one, but Council Grove answered with back-to-back three pointers to extend the lead to seven points.
Down the stretch, Marion was 9-of-10 from the free-throw line but couldn’t make a field goal. The Warriors retook the lead, 49-47, on a pair of free throws by Harper, but Council Grove scored the final seven points to win, 54-49.
Jordan Hett led the Warriors in scoring with 23. Harper had 13; James Jones, 5; Ethan Hett, 4; and Heidebrecht and Zac Robson, 2 each.
The Warriors’ next game is Friday at Berean Academy in Elbing.