Both Marion teams ended the 2013 Cougar Classic tournament with victories. On the girls’ bracket, the seventh-seeded Warriors defeated eighth-seeded Wakefield, 60-43, to earn the seventh place title. The second-seeded Marion boys, meanwhile, were named tournament champions after a 42-33 victory over top-seeded White City.
GIRLS – The energy was there Saturday for Marion as the Warriors surged to a 17-point victory in their final Cougar Classic contest.
The Warriors fell behind 4-0 early in the game. Megan Richmond opened scoring for Marion at 5:30 to draw within two, 4-2. But Wakefield increased its lead to 8-2 with four baskets from the free-throw line. Marion, however, capitalized on Bomber turnovers to finish the first quarter with an 11-0 run to claim a 13-8 lead going into the second period.
The teams traded scores and turnovers to open the second quarter. Corey Shields put up a basket at 6:16 for a 15-10 Marion lead. After the Bombers narrowed Marion’s lead to two, 15-13, at 3:32, Kelli Hess scored off a Wakefield turnover which ignited a 5-0 Marion surge. Hess nailed a three-point basket with 1:25 left before half to give the Warriors a 23-14 lead at the break.
Marion began to pull away from the Bombers in the third quarter, outscoring Wakefield 15-7 and taking a double-digit, 27-17, lead on a second chance basket by Hess at the 6:17 mark. An 11-0 surge followed for the Warriors on baskets by Hess, Katey Ehrlich, Shields, and Erin Meierhoff for a 38-19 Warrior advantage. The Bombers scored the last two points of the quarter for a 38-21 Marion lead going into the final period.
Ehrlich scored four Warrior points in the first minute and a half, but the Bombers enjoyed an 8-0 run to narrow Marion’s lead to 44-31. Kirsten Hansen had two baskets in the quarter, with additional Warrior points coming from Kaelyn Thierolf, Ericka Herzet and Richmond at the charity stripe. Hess added three back-to-back baskets in a minute’s time, for a 56-37 Warrior lead with two minutes left to play. Ehrlich and Herzet gave Marion its final four points, and the Warriors cruised to the 17-point victory.
Hess led the Warrior attack with a game-high 15 points. Also finishing in double-digits were Shields with 11 points and Ehrlich with 10.
BOYS – The Warriors opened Saturday’s championship contest with a 9-0 run courtesy of a stifling Marion defense that forced White City turnovers. The Huskies’ first point came at the charity stripe at the 3:20 mark. Jordan Hett and Jacob Harper polished off the Marion scoring for the quarter for a 13-5 Warrior lead at the end of one.
Harper free throws at the start of the second quarter gave Marion a double-digit, 15-5 lead, but the Huskies responded with a 5-0 run to draw within 15-10 at the 6:00 mark. After a Hett basket 30 seconds later, the remainder of the quarter’s points for both teams came at the free throw line for a 20-14 Marion advantage at halftime.
With Marion shots not wanting to fall, the Huskies surged 7-0 to draw within 22-21 at 5:10, but Hett, Zac Robson and Austin Pedersen baskets extended the Warriors’ lead to nine, 30-21. The third quarter ended with a 30-23 Marion lead.
The Huskies never reached within five points of the Warriors in the final quarter. Harper scored 10 of the Warrior’s final 12 points to seal the nine-point Warrior victory.