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Marion stifles Ell-Saline

Staff writer

Ell-Saline dropped in the first points in the girls game at Friday’s homecoming, but that was one of the few things that didn’t go Marion’s way.

The Warriors held the lead from the second basket on, as the closest score was 29-24 at the end of the third quarter.

Ell-Saline managed to get back into the game by holding Marion to a 5-point third quarter, but the hosts rode a 16-7 fourth quarter to victory.

Marion boys followed suit, capturing a win in thrilling fashion.

It was easily their highest-scoring game, as they defeated Ell-Saline 86-80, without needing overtime.

The Warriors were humming on offense in the first half, outscoring the Cardinals 23-16 in the second quarter, which gave Marion a 41-33 lead at the half.

The game tightened up in the second half, as Ell-Saline outscored the home team 47-45, but the Warriors did enough to get the win.

Girls

Jayden May and Chloe Burkholder finished in double figures, while the team stifled Ell-Saline defensively. The Cardinals leading scorer had 13, but none of the other players had more than five points.

The Warriors committed 21 turnovers, but they were willing to be aggressive, coach Kelly Robson said.

“In the fourth quarter, I was super pleased with our passing on the offensive end,” he said. “We had a couple backdoor plays for some girls.”

The girls struggled with foul trouble much of the game. They tallied their eighth of nine first-half fouls with 5:05 left in the second quarter, and five more in the first 2:36 of the third quarter.

They got back to safe defense, though, committing just two fouls the rest of the game, while holding the Cardinals to seven points in the fourth quarter.

Scoring summary: May, 16 points; Burkholder, 11; Destiny Boudreaux, 6; Crabb, 5; Chisolm Waner, 3; Megan Neufeld, 2; Michaela Regnier, 2.

Boys

The team was rolling on offense, hitting 63.5 percent on 2-pointers, and dropping 16 assists, both season highs. Marion’s only struggle offensively was turnovers, as they surrendered 22.

The Warriors’ efficiency was helped by their success taking apart Ell-Saline’s zone, getting the ball to Noah Dalrymple and Chase Stringer in the post, coach Terry Edwards said.

“Penetrate, get the ball to the baseline and attack,” he said. “Either he scores or he dishes to the other big guy. We know what to do there.”

The Warriors were plus-13 on the glass, but struggled securing the ball on defense. Of the Cardinals’ 17 rebounds, 10 were offensive.

While giving up so many long rebounds on defense wasn’t ideal, it was important that Marion found a way to win, Edwards said.

“We did hang in there,” he said. “We played smart enough to win, but probably not our best effort.”

Scoring summary: Chase Stringer, 25 points; Sam Zinn, 23, Noah Dalrymple, 20, Eli Hett, 8, Evann Heidebrecht, 8; Brandon Nguyen, 2.

Last modified Feb. 14, 2019

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