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MHS boys lose 2 of 3

Staff writer

Ultimately, they played three games. In assessing his team’s performance, that’s what head coach Jeff McMillin took out of it. Three games of experience. It was three games the young Warriors needed.

“I think that we’ve got kids that will be pretty good. I think we’ve got a team that will be pretty good,” he said. “We’re real low on experience. So if you view the tournament as a whole, we got three games in.”

A win over Peabody-Burns was followed by two losses, to Berean and Remington, keeping the Warriors from a top-three finish.

Tuesday the Warriors got all they could handle from Peabody-Burns in a 57-55 win. The trio of Kornelius Skotaam, Braxton Kyle, and Junior Edmonson racked up 49 of Peabody’s 55 points. Nicholas Stuchlik led the Warriors with 10 points and a whopping 17 rebounds, to go along with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists from Bret Voth, and 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists from Mason Pedersen.

With a trip to the championship on the line Friday, Marion came up short against Berean Academy. Berean’s defense stifled the Warriors with an aggressive man-to-man scheme.

“They put a lot of pressure on you for early in the season,” McMillin said. “A lot of teams can develop into where they feel comfortable pressuring, but they’re basically ready to put pressure on you Game One of the season.”

In what McMillin called a “winnable” game against Remington on Saturday, the Warriors got behind early and were never able to reclaim the lead. After falling behind 20-10 early in the second quarter, the Warriors closed the half on an 11-3 run to cut the deficit to two. Entry passes to Jacob Baldwin and Nicholas Stuchlik helped give the offense breathing room, and a parade to the free-throw line kept the Warriors offense rolling. The Warriors would make 24 trips to the free-throw line on the game, compared to 7 for the Broncos.

“We attacked pretty well,” McMillin said. “We were really trying to get the ball inside to free up the floor. The times in the game when we played well, we were doing that, we were getting the ball inside.”

After trading baskets to start the second half, however, the Broncos were able to secure an advantage and take a 6-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Remington offense became too much to handle, putting up 17 in the fourth and pulling away to win 52-39.

Marion was unable to stop Garet Johnson, who put up a stellar 24 points and 10 rebounds. Johnson was Remington’s only player in double figures. Jacob Baldwin was the only Warrior to earn that distinction, as he managed 12 points and 9 rebounds.

McMillin was discouraged by the Warriors’ 19 turnovers in that game.

“We turned the ball over way too many times,” he said. “We can’t give ourselves a shot to get into a game or stay in a game if we’re turning the ball over so many times.”

Despite starting the season 1-3, Marion has taken steps forward. One such step is discovering their offensive identity, which is to get the ball inside and run the offense from the inside out, either drawing fouls and finishing at the rim, or passing to cutting guards with an open lane, or kicking out for open jumpers.

“We can definitely say that’s what we want to do (is get the ball inside), it’s definitely cleared all the questions about what is our main objective on offense,” McMillin said.

Marion will hit the road to face Haven on Friday.

Last modified Dec. 18, 2014

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