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Warriors take 3rd at Marion Classic

Staff writer

Fighting off injuries and sickness, the Marion girls’ basketball team found what it needed to win two of three and take a third-place finish as hosts of the Marion Classic. The Warriors also may have found a key part of their identity in the process.

In its second game of the tournament, after scoring 13 points through three quarters against Berean, Marion put together an 8-3 run to close the final quarter. Even though the Lady Warriors of Berean won by 10, the hosting Warriors of Marion employed a frantic full-court press and were able to generate turnovers, then turn those into quick offense for their first consistent scoring burst of what had been a long game.

Head coach Kelly Robson said he was hesitant to use the full-court pressure because he had two players recovering from sickness and other lingering injuries.

“I thought we would wear ourselves out,” he said.

Marion was coming off a blowout win over Peabody-Burns from the tournament’s first game. Regular starters Kirsten Hansen and Julia Hall sat out that game due to illness. Led by Bailey Robson, Erika Hess, and Kourtney Hansen, the Warriors were able to get the shots they wanted — and make them — for 53 percent shooting in a 61-26 win over PBHS.

Kirsten Hansen and Hall returned Friday against Berean, but Hall was unable to start. Marion was unable to get the shots it wanted, and unable to make the shots it got, shooting just 23 percent and turning the ball over 22 times. Marion also forced 22 turnovers, a lot of which came late.

Berean held on for the 33-23 victory.

Against Eureka on Saturday, with third-place honors on the line. Marion came out on fire. The press continued the momentum from the previous day, and the Warriors sprinted to a 15-1 first quarter lead. Kirsten Hansen and Hall seemed recovered from their illnesses, putting up 11 points and 15 points, respectively. Marion kept the ball from getting inside to Eureka’s Didi Mouer, whom Robson said he wanted his team to stop. Left with only outside shooting, the Tornadoes made just 5 field goals the entire game and managed only 6 points in the second half. Aside from 14-11 second quarter, Marion dominated the game early and late to a tune of 38-7. The Warriors eventually won 52-18.

Robson said he was happy with the way his team competed throughout the week, and he liked the depth he saw from his team.

“We don’t just have one person who’s standing out,” Robson said. “We started this tournament with Bailey and Erika and Kourtney all scoring in double figures and tonight Kirsten and Julia scored in double figures.”

Should their conditioning hold up, Robson said he wants to use more full-court pressure going forward.

“That got some steals and turned into our best offense,” Robson said. “We are stronger with the ball than we were last year, still have to get stronger yet.”

Last modified Dec. 18, 2014

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