Marion girls take third in Warrior classic
Three-game home stands in the Marion Classic basketball tournament revealed positive developments and room for improvement for both boys’ and girls’ teams.
The Lady Warriors had the better time of it, offsetting a 42-35 loss to Remington with wins over Wichita Homeschool, 41-26, and Eureka, 41-27, to place third.
The boys’ one shining moment came against Wichita Homeschool, 63-58. They were mastered by Remington, 58-44, and were on the verge of taking the lead late against Eureka before fading to a 59-50 loss against Eureka to settle for fourth.
Confident from Friday’s pasting of Wichita, the girls took command right at the outset of Saturday’s third-place tilt against Eureka, building a 15-3 lead early in the second quarter.
Kourtney Hansen got the ball rolling with 6 consecutive points before being joined in the scoring column by Sam Richmond, Courtney Herzet, Alli Molleker, and Corinna Crabb.
Eureka chipped away to get the deficit down to single digits, 18-10, at the half, but an 11-4 run in the third quarter effectively put the game out of reach. Marion matched Eureka nearly point for point in the fourth for the 41-27 win.
Marion shot 54 percent from the field in the second half, and hit 16-of-28 free throws for the game.
Turnovers also were a difference-maker, as the Lady Warriors forced 30 turnovers that they turned into 23 points.
Hansen led Marion with 15 points, and Molleker and Herzet scored 7 each.
Coach Kelly Robson expressed satisfaction with how his team handled Eureka’s pressure defense, although they had 26 turnovers.
“We piled up turnovers for no apparent reason,” he said. “We can’t have 26 turnovers. We try to have 15 a night.”
Robson also said he would like to see the Lady Warriors cash in on more of their free throw attempts.
Boys finish fourth
If one win could be said to constitute momentum, Marion’s boys had it going into Saturday’s game against Eureka, having put away Wichita 63-58 on Friday.
Coach Randy Skiles said the Wichita game was a prime example of what the Warriors need to do to win — pass and share the ball, be patient, and play as a team.
Those qualities were in short supply Saturday when the Warriors needed them most, Skiles said.
From Zach Stuchlik’s opening bucket, the game was a slugfest, as the lead changed hands several times before a drive and flip by Evann Heidebrecht knotted the score at 16 at the end of the first quarter.
Warriors guard Sam Zinn picked up his third foul early in the second quarter, but Chase Stringer canned a 3-pointer to put the Warriors ahead 21-19.
What Marion’s raucous fans didn’t know was that it was the last lead they would celebrate.
Eureka’s Kash Parmes, who scored 24 points, answered with a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead, and Haydon Mead followed with another to put the Tornadoes ahead 25-21. They led 30-26 at the break.
Zinn and Stringer scored buckets to get Marion back to within 32-30, and the Warriors kept the game tight into the fourth quarter. Stuchlik’s putback of a missed free throw with 4 minutes, 25 seconds remaining had the Warriors trailing by just 3 points, 47-44.
A 6-0 Eureka run followed, staking the Tornadoes to an insurmountable 51-44 lead on the way to a 59-50 win.
Stringer and Heidebrecht were double-digit scorers for Marion, hitting for 14 and 11 respectively.
The Warriors shot 39 percent from the field, but were overmatched by Eureka’s sizzling 47 percent.
“Every single thing they do goes off the dribble into the lane and pitch,” Skiles said. “Our strategy was to keep them out of the lane and we didn’t do a very good job of that. We had two guys to stop coming into the thing and they got 90 percent of the points.”
Skiles said the team lacked composure down the stretch.
“All of a sudden we started relying on individual skills and the 3-pointer and we shot ourselves out of the game,” he said. “If we’d have just kept our composure and just slowed it down one or two possessions, we would have got there.”
All-tournament team selections for the girls were Richmond, Hansen, and Molleker. Stringer and Stuchlik made the boys’ list.
Jarred Rahe joined Stuchlik on the boys all-academic team; Hansen and Sam Kelsey were honored for the girls.
Last modified Dec. 14, 2017