The Marion High School Warriors scored first Tuesday, but a first-quarter run by Hillsboro on their home court gave the Trojans a cushion they never relinquished, and the Warriors left with a 67-54 loss to their cross-county rivals.
Jordan Hett was the workhorse for Marion, scoring 29 points for the game. Hett put Marion ahead, 3-0, with a drive and a free throw 50 seconds into the game.
Hillsboro’s Jesse Allen tied the score with a 3-point basket at the 6:25 mark. When Josh Wiebe made two free throws a minute later, the Trojans led 5-3, and would never trail again. By the end of the first quarter, Marion trailed, 20-10.
Hett kept Marion close in the second quarter by scoring seven points in less than two minutes, trimming the Trojan lead to five points, 28-23, with 2:27 remaining in the half.
Hillsboro extended its lead to 11 points, 34-23, but Jacob Harper scored on a driving scoop shot right before halftime to get the deficit back to single digits, 34-25. Harper scored 14 points for the Warriors.
Marion stayed close in the early part of the third quarter, and pulled to within seven points at the 4:57 mark when Hett tossed a lob pass over the Hillsboro defense to Harper at the basket, who made the layup to make the score 36-29.
Hett scored on a layup and free throw at 1:42 in the third to keep Marion within range at 42-34, but Hillsboro’s Shaq Thiessen scored four points in less than 10 seconds to move the Trojan advantage to 12 points, 46-34. The third quarter ended with Hillsboro leading, 50-38.
In the fourth quarter, every time Marion made any move to close the gap, Hillsboro had an answer. Hett opened the quarter with a spectacular reverse dribble and spin to the basket for 2 points, and Wiebe immediately drew a foul and made two free throws in response.
Scott Jones hit a one-handed shot crossing the lane for Marion at 6:17, and Hillsboro’s Brett Weinbrenner answered with a 3-point shot at 5:37 to extend the Trojan lead to 55-42.
Marion had one last run, drawing to within 7 points when Hett banked a 3-pointer off the glass at 2:30 to make the score 59-52. Harper also had a 3-point shot in that run.
But Hillsboro had been running all game, and they didn’t slow down, pushing the ball down the court after Warrior scores and creating easy baskets or drawing Marion fouls. Once the lead was back to 13 points with 1:43 remaining, Hillsboro slowed the pace and held on for the 67-54 victory.
Hett and Harper were the only two Warrior player who scored in double figures.
The Warriors will get the chance to get back in the win column when they travel Jan. 3 to Remington.