Marion girls crush Elyria Christian
Boys battle hard but succumb to late Elyria run
With the Elyria Christian girls riding a 3-game winning streak coming into USD 408 Sports and Aquatic Center on Friday, fans might have expected a close, spirited matchup against Marion.
Instead, what they saw was a blowout, as the Lady Warriors were relentless at both ends of the floor as they charged to a 67-30 win.
Kourtney Hansen scored 7 of her team-high 22 points before Elyria ever got on the board, and Marion held a modest 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Warriors were off and running when Marissa Jacobsen opened the second with a score, the first of eight Marion players that would score in a 24-point barrage.
It was perhaps Marion’s most complete offensive quarter of the season. Sam Richmond, Molly Hess, and Alli Molleker produced near the basket, Courtney Herzet banked home a deuce, and Taelyn Pagel and Corin Parmley connected from beyond the arc. Hansen picked up 3 of her 5 points from the free throw line.
Much of the fast-paced action was generated on the defensive end, where the Lady Warriors forced bad shots, created turnovers, and took charge on the boards. Elyria mustered just 9 points as Marion romped to a 40-18 halftime edge.
The Lady Warriors scored on their first four possessions of the third quarter, then had a series of turnovers before revving the scoring engine again on a Jacobsen fast break bucket, and Jessi Lewman sank a pair of free throws for a 31-point Marion lead, 54-23.
A 12-5 fourth quarter run capped off by a Sam Kelsey basket closed out a dominating 67-30 win.
Jacobsen scored 10 points to go along with Hansen’s 22, and Pagel and Molleker each had 7.
Marion dug an early 7-0 hole by not scoring until Zachary Stuchlik finished on a press break with an assist from Sam Zinn at the 2:45 mark of the first quarter, but in the tug-of-war that ensued, it was hard to accept that the Warriors had lost by 21 points, 63-42.
Elyria led 18-4 in the second quarter when Evann Heidebrecht went on his own determined run. He warmed up with a steal and layup, and after Blaine Mermis connected on a free throw, Heidebrecht was fouled on a made drive. He missed the free throw, but came up with the loose rebound and scored, cutting the lead to 18-13.
It was a scenario that played out repeatedly until late in the third quarter: Elyria pulled ahead, Marion reeled them back in. Marion had fallen behind 36-24 when free throws by Chase Stringer, a basket and free throw by Mermis, and a driving floater by Zinn had the Warriors back within 7, 30-37.
Elyria drained a 3-pointer and called a time out. Four minutes later, the visitors were up by 18 early in the fourth, having scored on 7-of-8 possessions. Turnovers and cold shooting plagued the Warriors as the margin ballooned to 24, 62-38, with just over 3 minutes left in the game. Stuchlik scored the team’s final 4 points in the 63-42 loss.
After games at Berean Academy on Tuesday, Marion teams will look ahead to substate tournament play. The girls will have a home game Monday, and the boys will be on the road Tuesday, with opponents yet to be officially determined at press time.