The Marion High School girls’ basketball team never trailed against Canton-Galva Thursday, but its biggest lead was only six points, including the final 39-33 score.
Head coach Kelly Robson said the girls’ growing confidence was evident in the win.
“Our girls didn’t go in the hole when other times we might have lost our confidence completely and just let it all go,” he said.
Marion took advantage early in the game after scores by Kelli Hess and Kaelyn Thierolf, but Canton-Galva matched that effort halfway through the quarter. An Eagle 3-pointer later brought the score to 8-7, but two fast break layups from Bailey Robson gave Marion a 12-7 lead going into the second quarter.
Both teams battled defensively in the second period, forcing outside shots through 2-3 zone defenses and pressuring the ball early in possessions. The girls led 17-11 at halftime.
“Our 2-3 was good,” Robson said. “We got pretty good closeouts most of the time, and they made a few outside shots, but overall I thought the effort was outstanding.”
The Lady Warriors continued to stiff-arm the Eagles’ comeback attempts early in the third quarter, collapsing on entry passes underneath, while scoring enough to keep a lead. A Megan Richmond 3 and midrange jump shot from Julia Hall helped the Warriors go into the final quarter leading 27-24.
Canton-Galva twice brought the score within one early in the fourth, but, down 29-28, missed the two free throws that would have taken the lead.
The Warriors responded with five points on a shot from Bailey Robson and a three-point play by Katey Ehrlich.
Down the stretch, Ehrlich and Hess made free throws that helped the Warriors keep the lead, winning the game.
Robson said the team will use its time over the break to continue working on shooting and building confidence.
“All last season we didn’t get our record above .500, and now we’re 3-2 for this little break,” he said. “We got two tough games coming back, but I think the girls will be confident when they come back, and that’s the big thing.”
The Lady Warriors play their first game away from home next, on Jan. 3 in Hillsboro.