Marion splits Warrior War with Berean
Girls survive, boys fall
In a game that has been twice canceled during the week by Mother Nature, it was Marion’s girls that overcame a late deficit to survive a 36-35 thriller.
The red and blue Warrior boys hung with the blue and yellow ones for the first half, but a costly third quarter and rugged second half allowed Berean to pull away for a 53-38 win.
The victory boosts Marion’s girls to 16-4 on the year, while the boys dropped to 8-12.
Warrior senior Kourtney Hansen rates as one of the best Marion’s had to offer on the basketball court with her clutch play paying dividends.
But it was her defense that saved the day for Marion with the Warriors down 35-34 with just seconds remaining in the contest.
Hansen swiped Berean’s inbounds pass and laid it in from under the basket for the game-winner.
With stifling defense, Berean has a knack for wreaking havoc on opponents’ offenses, turning teams over.
Marion found that out firsthand with turnovers keeping the Warriors playing from behind throughout the first half.
Berean’s defense limited Marion to just 2-for-6 the first quarter and 10 attempts the first half, racing to a 12-7 lead with the Warriors going over 5:00 without a field goal.
Marion had a chance to overtake Berean the second quarter with baskets by Hansen and Corrina Crabb, but were only able to knot the game.
Brooke Wiebe’s basket with 15 seconds left in the half sent Berean in at the half with an 18-14 lead with Berean enduring its coldest quarter of the game, shooting 2-for-8 from the floor and 7 of 21 overall.
Courtney Herzet finally got Marion over the hump near the midway mark of the third quarter, 23-22, but it was the last Marion basket that would fall for over 3:30 with Berean stretching its lead as far as 27-23.
Corrina Crabb finished with 8 points, flushing a three with 7 seconds left in the third to give Marion a 28-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
That’s when it turned into a thriller, with two ties and four lead changes and Marion unable to slam the door on Berean.
With under 10 seconds remaining in the game, Alli Molleker pulled Marion to within 35-34, setting Hansen up for the game-winning basket.
Going 12-for-26 on the night, Marion was unable to buy a basket for nearly 5:00 of the fourth quarter.
Marion’s defense limited Berean to a modest 36 percent for the game with Marion’s 38 percent paced by Hansen’s game-high 12 points.
“That’s what Berean does, they turn people over,” an exasperated Marion coach Kelly Robson said. “Our girls battled from beginning to end.
“I was trying to let the seniors decide what to do for the last shot. I was pleased with the shot we got and I thought we set up our defense well for the steal. I like our momentum heading into substate.”
For the second game in a row, Marion’s chances of hanging around the second half withered away after playing top-10 ranked Berean to a 21-20 halftime deficit.
The two took turns juggling the lead the first quarter before Marion jumped in front 15-13 on a basket by Chase Stringer with Marion holding Berean scoreless the closing 2:10.
ButToby Penner put the blue and yellow in front by halftime, sparking an 11-0 run that started Marion’s downhill descent.
By the time Evann Heidebrecht scored Marion’s first points of the second half 4:42 in, the red and blue were behind three possessions, 30-22.
Berean outscored Marion 17-7 the third quarter and 32-18 the second half, staying comfortably in front.
Marion never got closer than 8 the second half.
Stringer scored a team-high 9 points and Heidebrecht added 8, with Marion finishing 15-for-40 from the floor.
The Warriors’ season came to a close Tuesday with a tough 64-60 overtime loss to Inman at Inman.
The boys finished the season with a record of 8-13.
Last modified Feb. 28, 2018