Point guard Taylor Heidebrecht changed the game when he entered the third quarter Tuesday against Hutch Trinity.
The Warriors were down 24-22 and had not led at any point in the contest midway through the third when James Jones, Zach Robson, and Heidebrecht came off the bench. About 3 minutes, 50 seconds later, Heidebrecht caused one turnover, created two steals, was a part of a 10-second half court call, and had scored five points.
“Sometimes it just takes one person,” teammate Jacob Harper said. “He came in got a couple of steals, got the crowd fired up, got us fired up.”
With Heidebrecht as the catalyst, Harper and Jordan Hett each recorded steals. The Warriors converted those steals into fast breaks and eventually points. Hett had four points in the 19-3 run. Harper had 10 points including a 3-pointer near the midline at the buzzer.
“The half court one was just lucky,” Harper said.
The score at the end of the quarter was 41-27 and the flood gates were opened. Hett and Harper added to already strong nights, each ended the third quarter with 17 points. Harper had 24 points and Hett had 21. The Warriors pulled away with a 54-38 victory.
Harper said the key to scoring for the two Marion stars was getting into the paint, following a second-half edict from head coach Jeff McMillin outlawing 3-pointers for the rest of the game.
“When Jordan gets into the lane, he’s hard to stop,” Harper said. “I love playing with that kid. Us seniors have been playing together since third grade.”
And they want to keep playing together in Marion uniforms for a few more games. To do that, Harper said fastbreak opportunities are key in upcoming sub-state games. The Warriors were sluggish through the first two quarter of the game, much of their offense coming off Hett and Harper trips to the free-throw line.
Harper said the main difference between Tuesday and the Warriors previous three games, all losses, was transition opportunities.
“When we play up-tempo we’re hard to stop,” Harper said. “(This) was a big confidence booster. We needed a game to bounce back.”
Warriors don’t stop Bennington comeback
Marion got out to a big lead early Friday at Bennington, up by as much as 13 points in the second quarter, before everything became more difficult for the Warriors.
Bennington made a seven-point run to trail by six at halftime. The teams traded three-pointers in the third quarter before Bennington took the lead, 42-41.
Jordan Hett made a college-range three-pointer and a runner to reclaim the lead for Marion, who led 46-45 entering the fourth quarter. Bennington took the lead early in the fourth with a three-pointer and never trailed again.
Bennington won, 67-55.