Friday’s senior night match with Elyria Christian ended with a pair of Marion’s most exciting wins of the season.
The Eagles managed the first points after five minutes of play in the girls game, but Marion took the victory 34-32 in overtime.
It was the Warriors’ second win in three games, which brought them to 4-15. They are 3-7 at home, including their three games from the Marion Classic.
The boys also had their hands full against Elyria Christian. The Eagles pulled even with a 3-pointer at the end of the fourth quarter, but Marion rode a 9-point overtime period to a 59-53 win.
Friday was the Warriors’ ninth-straight victory, and brought their record to 13-6 overall. They are 6-3 at home, including their three games from the Marion Classic.
The Warriors ended the first quarter down 6-5, but Elyria Christian blanked them in the second, taking a 14-5 lead into halftime.
Marion came out firing in the second half. The team went on an 18-8 tear to take a 23-22 lead in the fourth quarter, before eventually ending regulation at 30-30.
Getting the tight win was important experience because it was new territory for Marion, coach Kelly Robson said.
“We haven’t been in a lot of close games, for winning or losing,” he said. “Tonight we had to fight for one, and the girls had to figure it out.”
Taking care of the ball was a problem for the girls, but they forced just as many errors on defense, with Marion’s 21 turnovers to the Eagles’ 22.
Scoring summary: Corrina Crabb, 10 points; Chloe Burkholder, 6; Cameron White, 4; Destiny Boudreaux, 3; Chisolm Waner, 3; Jayden May, 2; Megan Neufeld, 2; Michaela Regnier, 2; Jaden Slifer, 2.
Turnovers were also a struggle for the boys, as they gave up 18, but totaled only 12 assists.
While there were mistakes, coach Terry Edwards was impressed with the team’s resilience.
“We don’t panic, we stay together and find ways to get baskets and stops,” he said. “We’ve been in close games. This is more fun to coach, and get the kids excited than if we win by 20.”
That resilience was especially apparent on defense, where they allowed the Eagles 30 points through the first three quarters. Despite allowing 20 in the fourth quarter, Marion allowed just three points in overtime to snatch the win.
If there was a spot for improvement, it was defending the 3-pointer, with 45 of the Eagles’ 53 points coming from beyond the arc.
One of the team’s biggest strengths against Elyria Christian was free throws. Marion displayed composure and efficiency at the charity stripe, making 19-of-23.
Scoring summary: Noah Dalrymple, 19 points; Sam Zinn, 13; Eli Hett, 11; Chase Stringer, 8; Evann Heidebrecht, 4; Brandon Nguyen, 4.