Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 23 January 2007 18:00The Marion boys looked like world-beaters at the start, but Republic County crept back into contention and eventually claimed third place at the Trojan Classic with a 67-56 overtime victory.
The Warriors drained eight of their first 10 shots of the game to bolt in front 17-6. Travis Hett contributed seven points and Luke Gordon six during the run that carried the team to a 19-10 advantage at the first break.
But from that point on, the Buffaloes from Republic County took small but steady steps toward victory. The Warriors still led by seven at halftime, 34-27, but with 4-for-11 shooting in the third period, the margin was down to 43-40 at the final break.
With the scored knotted at 52 midway through the final period, fouls took a toll on Marion. Emmanuel Jackson was the first to be disqualified at the 3:43 mark.
Both teams struggled to score after that. Gary Roberts hit a pair of free throws for Republic County, but Luke Gordon countered with a basket in the paint with 1:47 to go.
The Buffaloes' Colby Ferris scored 18 seconds later to put Marion in a 56-54 hole, but Jason Hett's basket with three seconds left sent the game into overtime.
The three-minute extra period belonged to Republic County. After Travis Hett picked up his final two fouls within the first minute, the Buffaloes went on an 11-0 run that was capped by a pair of free throws by Roberts with 9.9 seconds left after frustrated Warrior coach Rex Ostmeyer was whistled for a technical foul for arguing a call.
The Warriors, who shot a blistering 62 percent from the field in the first half, cooled to 32 percent in the second half. Jason Hett led the team with 14 points while Travis Hett and Gordon each scored 12.
Ferris scored 23 points to lead Republic County, which shot 46 percent for the game. Roberts finished with 15 points while Trevor Kuhlman and Kyle Durflinger each added 10.
Marion fouls sent the Buffaloes to the line 27 times, and they drained 22 attempts. Marion shot only eight free throws for the game and made two.
With a 1-2 mark during the tournament, the Warriors have a 6-4 record for the season.
Thomas More Prep (semifinals)-Marion suffered the same fate as all opponents who have dared to challenge Thomas More Prep this season, falling to the No. 1 seeded and eventual Trojan Classic champions, 77-55.
Through the first quarter, Marion hung within five points of the Monarchs, who came into the tournament at 9-0 for the season and ranked No. 1 in Class 4A.
But TMP expanded its 16-11 lead to 35-24 by halftime, despite shooting 35 percent (14-40) from the floor to Marion's 39 percent (9-23).
The Monarchs took control of the game with a 22-14 advantage in the third quarter, then coasted home with a 20-17 edge in the final period.
The Warriors had trouble matching up with the Monarchs' talented Trevor Ottley, a 6-foot-8 post who scored 24 points despite battling illness.
His efforts were complemented by three teammates in double figures: Nolan Hoffman with 17, Greg Diehl with 14 and Kyle Hammerschmidt with 10.
The Monarchs finished with 44 percent shooting (30-68) to Marion's 43 percent (17-40).
Travis Hett led Marion's attack with 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the floor and 4-for-4 accuracy from the line. Calvin Jeffrey added 13 points.
Twenty-five turnovers by Marion resulted in 30 points while the Warriors cashed in 16 TMP mistakes for 12 points.
Sunrise Academy (first round)-Four Warriors scored in double figures to lead Marion to a 63-55 victory over Sunrise Academy in the opening round of the tournament on Tuesday.
Jason Hett led a balanced attack with 16 points while Travis Hett and Emmanuel Jackson each added 15 and Calvin Jeffrey a chipped in 10.
The two teams battled to a 22-22 tie through the first two quarters. But the Warriors outscored the Buffaloes 23-16 in what proved to be a decisive third quarter.
The two teams played almost even in the final period to give Marion its eight-point victory over a talented Buffalo squad.
Marion made more than half of its shots from the floor (21-41) while limiting Sunrise to 41 percent shooting (23-56).
The Warriors survived the Buffaloes' one-two scoring tandem of Bret Michael and Daniel Krause, who scored 26 and 17 points, respectively, on a combined 19-for-33 shooting (58 percent).
Key to the victory was keeping Sunrise off the free-throw line. The Warriors made 15 of 26 attempts while the Buffaloes went to the line only four times-and made all four shots. Marion was called for only four eight fouls in the game while Sunrise was whistled for 23.
Coming-Marion was scheduled to take its 6-4 record to Hoisington on Tuesday for a makeup game postponed from Jan. 12. On Friday, they will take on Hillsboro (4-6) in the MHS gymnasium. Tipoff will be around 8 p.m.