The Marion boys were up to the task of erasing a 10-point deficit Tuesday against Hillsboro, but a 14-point Trojans lead in the fourth quarter was too much to overcome, as the Warriors lost 45-37 in Marion.
The Warriors had a tough time getting on track offensively in the first quarter. Jack Schenider started in place of an ailing Peyton Heidebrecht, and he scored the Warriors’ first points on a 12-foot jumper. Two free throws by Bret Voth would be the only other points scored by Marion in the period.
Trailing 4-11, the Warriors cut into the lead with baskets from Voth and Mason Pedersen. Pedersen scored again, and Jacob Baldwin hit a baseline jumper to bring Marion within three. Hillsboro looked as if it would take an 18-13 lead into the half, but Marion made the most of the final 23 seconds, with Pederson banking in a 16-foot jumper.
Nicholas Stuchlik hit a shot underneath, was fouled, and drained a free throw to tie the score at 18 on the first possession of the third quarter. Two Schneider free throws knotted the score again at 20.
The excitement in the gym was short-lived, however, as the Trojans went on a 13-2 tear, and carried a 38-27 lead into the final period. The Warriors cut it to seven, 34-41, but couldn’t get any closer.
“They picked it up a notch coming out of halftime, and we didn’t,” coach Jeff McMillin said. “Their first set out of the locker room was a real aggressive play to get the ball inside. They came out with pressure and upped the tempo. We kind of played at the same level it had been played at.
“It’s no fun losing, but I like the team. We’re growing.”