Marion girls’ basketball hit hard and fast. Its defense was burning hot out of the gate in Saturday’s third-place game at the Marion Classic at Sports and Aquatic Center.
With defenders frisking Eureka ballhandlers from full-court, the contest quickly devolved to a Warriors layup line.
Marion stormed to an 18-0 advantage, which became a 21-2 first quarter that all but sealed the game, which finished at 52-25.
“I told the girls in the locker room before the game, ‘We’ve got to bring that intensity,’” head coach Kelly Robson said. “Sometimes we don’t bring that intensity early on.”
Things evened out somewhat when the Warriors pulled back on the throttle, switching in the second quarter to a half-court man-to-man defense.
“I’ve been thumped enough in these kind of games that I’m very sensitive to how that feels on the other side,” Robson said. “We got done what we wanted to get done. Let’s start working on some other things.”
Kirsten Hansen was a primary beneficiary of the pressure, netting steals and converting layups to finish with 12 points, 4 assists, and 8 steals.
Hansen left the game in the third quarter when she went down with an apparent ankle injury. It wasn’t her first experience being hurt; two years ago she tore an ACL.
“Because of her knee injury, she is really scared by stuff that twists the wrong way,” Robson said. “You can just see the fear on her face. I understand. I’ve been there myself.”
However, Robson said she practiced Monday and should be available going forward.
Erika Hess also had 12 points for the Warriors. Bailey Robson added 10. Kourtney Hansen had a well-rounded statline, with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, and 4 steals.
The win was a solid bounce-back performance after a 44-35 loss to Remington on Friday. Kourtney Hansen led the Warriors in that game with 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Marion had an easy 45-14 win over Belle Plaine on Thursday to start the tournament led by Kourtney Hansen with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 steals.
Kirsten Hansen, Kourtney Hansen, and Bailey Robson were named all-tournament players.
Coach Robson said he’s pleased with his team’s 2-2 start.
“I don’t know that I could possibly be happier after four games, other than to win those games,” Robson said. “But we’re doing the things we need to.”
The Warriors will be hosts Thursday against Haven in their final game of the semester.