The Marion High School boys’ basketball team ended the regular season with a loss to Sedgwick, and their postseason finished the same way, as the Warriors were bounced out of the first round of substate competition Monday with a 49-42 loss to the Cardinals at Sedgwick.
The teams were knotted at 34 late in the third quarter when Sedgwick sharpshooter Elliot Money rattled home a long 3-pointer. He opened the fourth quarter with another, and suddenly the Warriors were staring at a 6-point deficit, 40-34.
Marion misfired on their next three trips down the floor, and Logan Thompson hit two free throws to extend the margin to 42-34.
Mikael Antosyck got Marion back on track with a three from the left side with 4 minutes, 41 seconds remaining. Back on defense, he grabbed a loose ball as it sailed out of bounds and deflected it off a Cardinal, giving the ball to Marion.
The play touched off a confrontation that drew a technical foul against Sedgwick. Jordan Hett made both charities, and Marion trailed 39-42 with possession of the ball and a chance to tie at 4:41.
Instead, the Warriors fumbled the ball out of bounds. Sedgwick did not score on the next possession, but more than a minute ran off the clock as Marion fouled, then deflected two missed shots out of bounds.
When Marion got the ball back, they couldn’t buy a basket, missing on their next four attempts as the clock continued winding down. Hett appeared to have broken the scoring drought with a follow of a Jacob Harper miss, but the basket was waved off when a charging foul was assessed against Hett.
With less than a minute remaining, Marion was forced to foul the Cardinals. Thompson stepped to the line at :44 to make one, and when he missed the second Trent Stucky came away with the rebound for Sedgwick. Money added another free throw for a 45-39 Cardinals lead.
Hett streaked the length of the court for a layup and was fouled on the shot. His free throw with :26 left drew Marion to within 3 points, 42-45.
It was as close as the Warriors would get, as Sedgwick closed out the game with a pair of free throws and a layup off a steal at midcourt to advance to the next round and send the Warriors home for the season.
Marion head coach Jeff McMillin was disappointed with the loss, but pleased with his team’s effort against a difficult foe.
“They’re real aggressive, they’re fast and athletic,” McMillin said. “We had to stick our noses in there and couldn’t back down. If we made it a basketball game rather than a slugfest, we could play with them.”
Playing zone defense was a strategy that helped to keep the Warriors in the game, McMillin said.
“I planned to play zone maybe two or three possessions, and ended up playing it for three quarters. What we started out with, they took awhile to adjust to,” McMillin said.
“The kids did everything we asked them to do, we just came up on the short end of it,” McMillin said.
Hett led Marion scorers with 14 points. Senior guard Antosyck hit 11 in his final game for the Warriors, and was a strong presence rebounding and defensively, an effort noted by McMillin.
“He played like a kid that didn’t want to play his last game,” McMillin said. “He played with a ton of energy and hit big shots.”
Harper was held to 7 points, and senior Scott Jones scored 5 points.
While the season ended earlier than he wanted, McMillin pointed out the Warriors’ 11-10 record was a significant achievement.
“We finished with a winning record, that’s one of the goals we wanted. We thought that would be a big step for us, and that’s something they fought for,” McMillin said.
“I didn’t want it to end,” McMillian said. “They’re just a real fun group of guys to work with.”