Marion boys fall to top-ranked Swathers in sub-state semifinals

Zach Robson makes the second of two consecutive baskets during the second quarter Thursday. Robson led Marion with 12 points.
Zach Robson makes the second of two consecutive baskets during the second quarter Thursday. Robson led Marion with 12 points.
The Marion boys came up short in a sub-state semifinal contest against unbeaten Hesston—ranked first in Class 3A—at the Marion Sports and Aquatic Center Thursday, 49-35.

After battling for every point early on, Marion faced a 23-10 deficit at halftime.

But Marion did not go down without a fight.

The Warriors gave the Swathers a run for their money with a monstrous third-quarter effort during which Marion closed the gap to five points and more than doubled its halftime score.

Hesston regrouped after that, though, and had regained a 10-point margin by the end of the third quarter. From there, the Swathers rolled to the 14-point win.

The game began with a three-point basket from Hesston’s Grant Raleigh, and Ryan Schadler added a layup before Grif Case got Marion on the board with a basket in the paint at the 5:12 mark.

After Tyler McCartney scored to put Hesston up, 7-2, each team had their share of missed shots. The next five points were scored from the charity stripe, and two free throws by James Jones brought Marion within 9-5. But the Swathers increased their lead with a three-point play and a second-chance tip in for a 14-5 advantage at the first break.

Raleigh drained his second three of the night 37 seconds into the second period, then Zach Robson scored consecutive baskets bringing Marion within 17-9 with 4:15 left in the half. The Warriors managed only one free throw the duration of the half, however, and Hesston held a 23-10 advantage at intermission.

The Swathers increased their lead to 25-10 with two free throws, then Marion got two points when Hesston was called for goaltending. That was the start of a 12-2 Warrior burst, fueled by the efforts of Timothy Knolla. Knolla drained a three-pointer then scored again to bring Marion within 25-17. When Knolla made his second three-pointer in as many minutes and Jacob Baldwin chipped in two free throws, Marion was within 27-22 with 3:34 left in the period.

But Hesston outscored the Warriors 8-3 after that to regain a double-digit advantage, 35-25, by the end of the quarter.

The teams exchanged a free throw and then a basket to start the final quarter. Schadler scored on three straight Swather possessions, increasing Hesston’s lead to 45-30 with 4:40 left in the game.

Taylor Heidebrecht scored, but Hesston answered with two consecutive buckets to lead, 49-32, with 3:05 to play. The Swathers milked the clock, and Marion managed one last basket when Robson drained a three-pointer with 8 seconds left for the final, 14-point margin.

Raleigh led all scorers with 16 points. Schadler added 13 for Hesston and Wyatt McKinney 10. Robson led Marion with 12 points.

Marion concludes the season with a 13-9 overall record.


 

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