The Marion High School girls’ basketball team was poised for a breakthrough after narrow, hard-fought losses in three consecutive games.
A road trip Feb. 21 to Sedgwick provided the opportunity, and Marion took full advantage, claiming their third win of the season 41-34.
Senior Whitney Gordon led the Lady Warrior attack with 14 points, and Katey Ehrlich was close behind with 12. Erin Meierhoff scored nine.
The victory would have made a good ending to a challenging season in which wins were hard to come by, but the Lady Warriors were paired Tuesday against fifth-ranked cross-county rival Hillsboro in the first round of substate action at Hillsboro.
Marion stayed close early, with Gordon and Ehrlich collecting baskets in the lane to make the score 4-6.
But the Trojans suddenly got white-hot from the field, hitting seven consecutive shots in a 17-4 run to race to a comfortable 23-8 margin at the end of the first quarter.
Marion had little difficulty, with Hillsboro’s backcourt pressure, but had to work hard against the Trojan man-to-man defense to create shot opportunities.
The Lady Warriors started a scoring spurt toward the end of the first half when Kaelyn Thierolf dropped a shot from just inside the three-point arc, and Gordon scored on a drive down the land. Ehrlich found Gordon under the basket for another score, and Thierolf. The scores on four consecutive trips down the floor held Hillsboro’s halftime lead to 40-21.
Ehrlich and Gordon were the only two Lady Warriors who scored in the third quarter, and Hillsboro raced to a 62-25 lead. The Trojans built a 41-point advantage at 70-29 late in the fourth quarter and Hillsboro reserves coasted the rest of the way to the 74-37 win.
Gordon led Marion in scoring in her final game with 14 points. Ehrlich scored 11, and Thierolf added 10.