The Marion girls’ basketball team’s 2-3 zone defense was quite adept at limiting Berean Academy’s post players from scoring on Friday, but Berean scored too many points in transition and defeated Marion, 42-26.
Many of Marion’s turnovers came without a dead ball opportunity to set the defense against Berean. The Berean girls played tight man-to-man defense on whoever had the ball for Marion, while the other defenders played the passing lanes, grabbing steal after steal.
Berean senior Xannie Quiring showed enough skill at snatching passes that Marion coach Kelly Robson repeatedly told his team to always know where Quiring was before passing to Katey Ehrlich.
The first quarter was a struggle for both offenses as Marion’s zone defense stymied Berean’s offense and Berean’s man-to-man defense forced turnovers.
Marion didn’t score until Ehrlich made a scoop shot driving the baseline and was fouled with 59 seconds left in the first quarter. Ehrlich made the free throw to bring the score to 7-3 in Berean’s favor to end the quarter.
Both offenses picked in the second quarter. Erin Meierhoff hit a long jump shot, Ericka Herzet made a shot along the baseline, and Ehrlich made 1-of-2 free throws. But Berean’s offense had better luck scoring against a set defense in the quarter, as well, and Marion trailed 23-8 at halftime.
Marion began the third quarter with back-to-back undefended three-pointers from the left quarter by Meierhoff and Kelli Hess to cut the deficit to 25-14. After a mini-run by Berean, freshman Kirsten Hansen scored on a drive, made 1-of-2 free throws, and hit a buzzer-beating jump shot to end the quarter with Marion trailing, 33-21. Ehrlich also had a full-court drive to score in the quarter.
Kaelyn Thierolf began the fourth quarter with a jump shot. After Berean scored a basket, Hansen stole the ball from Quiring and drove to score; Quiring couldn’t risk a foul, because she already had four fouls. Robson said the play demonstrated Hansen’s sure hands and aggressive defense.
“Hopefully as Kirsten grows to be a junior and senior, she’ll be able to play like (Quiring),” Robson said.
Berean extended its lead back to 15, and Marion struggled to score late in the game. Balee Shiplet made a free throw, and Marion lost, 42-26.