The Marion boys took care of business Thursday night. Entering the Hillsboro Class 3-A sub-state tournament as the No. 1 seed, the Warriors executed at both ends of the court to edge No. 8 Hutchinson Trinity 56-31 to advance to the semifinal round.
It took the Warriors a little while to find their rhythm. The Celtics jumped to a 3-0 lead when Marion committed a few early turnovers, but an Austin Pedersen basket behind the arc halfway through the opening quarter gave the Warriors the lead for good, 6-5. Nine of Marion’s 12 first-quarter points came from behind the arc, and the Warriors claimed a narrow, 12-10, lead at the end of the first period. The Warriors lit the fuse in the second quarter, using a 12-0 run to build a double-digit, 24-10, lead with 3:41 left before halftime when Ethan Hett drained a three-pointer. The Warriors showed good ball movement on offense, and Marion enjoyed a 20-point advantage, 34-14, at halftime.
The teams traded scores after the break. A 6-0 burst by the Celtics was not enough to phase the Warriors, and Marion held a 42-24 lead going into the final quarter. The Warriors maintained their lead the duration of the game and enjoyed their largest margin of the night, 56-29, with 1:47 left to play after Ethan Hett cashed in a basket. Coach Jeff McMillin cleared his bench at 1:17, and the Warriors cruised to the 25-point victory.
Three Warriors scored in double figures. Jacob Harper led the team with 13 points, while Jordan Hett and Ethan Hett each contributed 11.
With the win, Marion improves to 16-5 on the season and will face No. 4 Sacred Heart (13-8) Friday in the semifinals. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m.