The Marion Lady Warriors hung tough in the first quarter Tuesday against Hillsboro, but a 19-3 run by the Trojans in the second quarter left the Warriors playing catch up.
Marion kept close in the first quarter, taking advantage of an over-aggressive Hillsboro defense that sent a steady stream of Warriors to the foul line. Marion found it tougher scoring from the field, and trailed 10-15 at the end of the quarter.
In the second, the Trojans kept up the defensive intensity but cut down on the fouls. They forced the Warriors into taking low percentage shots when they could get them, and Marion committed seven turnovers. While Hillsboro scored inside and from the perimeter, Marion was stymied. A free throw by Kourtney Hansen and two by Marshelle Mermis were the only points the Warriors scored, as they trailed 13-34 at the half.
The Warriors emphasized driving to the basket as they worked to come back in the second half. Mermis scored on a driving layup, and Hansen took the ball the length of the court off a missed Hillsboro shot for a layup. Kristen Hansen cut underneath the defense to take a pass and score.
But the strategy also led to turnovers as Warriors tried to fight through traps to get to the bucket, and the Trojans took advantage, increasing their lead to 51-20 at the end of the third.
With the clock running in the fourth quarter and Hillsboro playing mostly reserves, Marion made some headway. Erika Hess scored layups on consecutive possessions, the second on a slashing drive down the middle of the lane through three Hillsboro defenders. Elizabeth Meyer, Mermis, and Herzet tallied 6 points on free throws to complete Marion’s scoring.
The Warriors will be on the road Friday at Council Grove.