The Marion High School Warriors finished in fourth place with a 1-2 record in the Marion Classic basketball tournament this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Marion Sports and Aquatics Center.
The Warriors opened the tournament Thursday against Berean Academy, ranked first in Class 2A of the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association preseason poll.
Both teams were tentative at the start, with the first basket scored by Berean’s Daniel Classsen three minutes into the game. Jacob Harper got Marion on the board with two free throws at the 4:50 mark.
Marion took a 5-2 lead on an Ethan Hett 3-point shot at 3:31, and Hett followed with a steal and an acrobatic pass to Scott Jones for a layup to take a 7-2 lead. Zac Robson hit a 3-point shot to give Marion a 10-3 lead, and the quarter ended with Marion leading 10-5.
Harper hit a short jumper to give Marion its biggest lead of the game, 20-13, with 2 minutes elapsed in the third quarter. From that point, Berean began to whittle away at the Warrior advantage, scoring the final 4 points of the quarter to trail by 1, 25-24.
Casey Wiebe erased Marion’s lead with a basket at the 2:42 mark of the fourth quarter, tying the score 31-31. Harper put the Warriors back in the lead with a shot from the right side of the lane, 33-31. Berean’s Brady Barber tied the score again with a putback at 1:06, and neither team scored again in regulation, sending the game to overtime.
Berean took charge in the extra period, outscoring the Warriors 8-4 to claim a 41-37 comeback win.
Harper led Marion scorers with 17 points, Robson had 6, and Antosyck scored 5. Jordan Hett, Marion’s leading scorer from last season, was held scoreless for the contest.
“We were focused on our defense and played great team defense,” Marion head coach Jeff McMillin said. “We know other teams are going to gear up to stop Jordan, and we were able to be in the game because several other kids stepped up and carried the load.”
Marion’s lone win in the tournament came Friday against Eureka.
Hett started strong with two quick baskets to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead, but Eureka regained the lead and held it into the second quarter. A 3-point shot from the corner by Taylor Heidebrecht brought the Warriors back to within one, 18-17, and Marion reclaimed the lead when Mikael Antosyck stole the ball and drove for a layup with 5:06 remaining in the half. The teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter, with the Tornadoes taking the lead into halftime, 26-25.
Marion was on fire coming out of the locker room after the break, scorching the nets for 12 points while holding Eureka scoreless for the first 3:30 of the third period. Jacob Harper got things going with a fast-break layup, Jones scored on a drive and again on a layup, Hett scored consecutive baskets, and Harper completed the run with a putback at 4:34 that gave Marion a 37-26 advantage.
Unlike the game against Berean the night before, Marion kept its composure and kept the Tornadoes at a comfortable distance the rest of the game, winning by a final score of 53-40.
Hett scored 20 to lead Marion, and Harper added 14.
“We fought hard to remind the kids not to have a letdown after the emotional loss the night before,” McMillin said. “In the second half we rebounded as well as we have from an aggressiveness standpoint and showed that we can be pretty productive when we limit teams to one shot.”
Remington opened with a 4-0 lead before Jones got Marion on the board with a putback of his own miss at 6:42. Harper was fouled when he hit a pull-up jumper on the baseline with 12.2 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and his free throw pulled Marion within 1, 10-9. But Remington’s Paul Janzen nailed a three-point shot with only two seconds left to give the Broncos a 13-9 advantage at the quarter.
Remington extended the lead to six points before Hett sailed into the lane and hit a layup while falling down, making the score 20-16. Harper followed with a 3-point shot to cut the lead to one, 20-19. Bronco Seth Spore hit a jumper to make the halftime score 22-19.
The teams traded point through most of the third quarter until Harper drove into the lane for a 10-footer at 1:21 to give Marion their first lead of the game, 31-30. After a Bronco basket, Zach Robson launched a rainbow three from five feet behind the arc to reclaim the lead 34-32. Marion. Eric Janzen scored to knot the score at 34-34 at the end of the quarter.
Hett provided the firepower to keep Marion close in the fourth quarter, scoring 8 points over a three-minute stretch. The home crowd exploded when two Harper free throws put Marion back on top, 44-42, at 2:55 remaining.
Remington scored the next eight points, and Marion did not score again until Harper nailed a meaningless three with one second remaining, and the Broncos escaped with a 50-47 win.
“We had a lack of enthusiasm during this game for the first time all season,” McMillin said. “I’m not going to discount the fact that we played for the third straight day, but we needed to overcome that and get fired up for the opportunity to play a game.”
McMillin gave credit to the Broncos for their performance.
“Remington played with a lot of poise led by their senior leader. They are a lot better team than a lot of people thought they would be after losing so much talent from last season’s team,” McMillen said.
McMillen acknowledged the play of Jordan Hett, who had a team-high 18 points, and Harper, who scored 17.
“They are our leaders and the guys that we look to for a basket when we have to have one,” McMillin said. “They both played great down the stretch, especially on the offensive end.”
Hett and Harper were named to the all-tournament team. Warriors Patrick McCarty and Wiley Lundy were named to the all-academic team.
Marion has the week off before a matchup Tuesday against the Hillsboro Trojans in Hillsboro.