Nobody at Robert C. Brown gymnasium would have guessed the Marion High School girls basketball team would roll out a 62-52 win Friday night—not after Whitewater-Remington held the Warriors to a total of four in the first quarter. The Broncos came in to Hillsboro as the top seed, and despite scoring on only five of 18 field goal attempts in the first frame, put Marion in a 12-4 hole headed into the second.
Then the Warriors kicked their level of play into a higher gear, and passed the Broncos like they were standing still. After a traditional 3-point play by Katie Regier put Marion behind 17-8 at 5:37, the Warriors dialed up a full-court press that sparked an 11-0 run that mushroomed into a 29-11 Warrior lead in all of 4:16 of clock time.
The fast and furious rally began with a bank shot by Bridget Lundy followed instantaneously by a Lindsay Hett layup off a steal, and another theft by Julia Zeiner that led to a pair of foul shots by Kimber Hardey. Kayley Heerey slashed it to a single point with a left wing 3-pointer, then gave the Warriors their first lead, 19-18, with a right wing bomb after yet another steal by Hett.
Amanda Richmond scored a 2-pointer off an extended possession, then Zeiner scored off a steal. Remington called for time at 2:49, and got off thir first field goal attempt since the run erupted. A steal by Heerey on the Broncos next trip led to no points, but a theft by Hett created a layup and a 25-18 Warrior lead.
And still the run continued, with Heerey fouled in the act of lining up another triple try. She made one of three foul shots, with Lundy collecting an offensive rebound and cycling it back to Heerey for another quick score. That made it 29-18 with 1:19 remaining before halftime, and the Warriors kept the clutch in gear and the pedal to the metal, with a layup by Zeiner and Heerey's third 3-pointer of the period pushing the lead to 34-22. Zeiner also put up a last-second 3-point bid, with her shot catching both backboard and iron before falling away.
Ahead 34-24 at the break, Marion ramped its lead to 14 on a basket by Zeiner and to 15 on an offensive rebound-plus-putback by Amanda Richmond at the 2:45 mark in the third. Zeiner made it 47-31 off an assist from Kristen Steinborn, but the Broncos threatened to make it interesting heading into the fourth, closing out the third on a 5-0 run.
Whitewater-Remington trimmed it to 47-40 before Marion rediscovered its scoring rhythm, with Lundy scoring to make it 50-40 and a Zeiner field goal pushing it to 53-42. Heerey hit a pair of foul shots with 43 seconds left, making it 59-46. Three more foul shots from Hett, and Marion had punched its ticket to the 3A substate championship.
Hett finished with nine points and five steals, Heerey had 18 points, three assists and three steals and Zeiner turned in a 23-point, 13 rebound double-double, with four steals. Marion as a team pilfered the ball from the Broncos 16 times and helding Remington to 19-for-53 (36 percent) on those possessions that ended in a shot.
The Warriors will face SE of Saline at 6 p.m. Saturday in Hillsboro.