After losses to Hillsboro, ranked second in Kansas Class 3A, and Remington, what the Marion High School Lady Warriors needed Friday was a more-evenly matched foe.
Instead, they got Moundridge. The Lady Wildcats came to USD 408 Sports and Aquatics Center ranked ninth in Class 3A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, with their only two losses coming against Hillsboro and seventh-ranked Garden Plain.
“Not a very easy stretch for the girls starting out of the gate,” Marion head coach Randy Savage said. “Everybody we’ve played has a winning record or is ranked.”
The Lady Warriors came out with intensity, but they needed much more than that to cope with the sharp ball movement, accurate shooting, and swarming defense of Moundridge.
The Lady Wildcats were unstoppable on offense, and impenetrable on defense. Marion scored just one basket in each of the first, third, and fourth quarters, and ended the game with 11, their lowest output of the season. Moundridge scored at will, running up a 34-7 halftime lead en route to a 53-11 blowout.
Whitney Gordon scored 5 points, and Erin Meierhoff, Kelli Hess, and Megan Richmond scored 2 each for the Lady Warriors.
“I think we turned it over too many times, and Moundridge, if you left them open, hit shots. We didn’t need for them to shoot like that against us,” Savage said.
Poor shooting and turnovers continued to plague the Lady Warriors, but Savage couldn’t point to one primary cause for the loss.
“It was a combination of things, and I think we get our heads down a little bit,” Savage said. “You don’t want it, you don’t like it, but if you’ve played anything athletically, it would be rare if you haven’t experienced the same thing.”
While Marion’s next few opponents will be good, Savage is encouraged thinking about the prospects for picking up some wins.
“We had a good practice Monday, and we have a string of games coming up we should compete in,” Savage said. “I’m pretty excited about the next few games.”
Marion played Tuesday against Sedgwick, and will compete Friday against Trinity Catholic of Hutchinson in Hutchinson.