The boys improved to 5-0, while the girls are now 2-3.
Boys—Marion sprinted to a 5-0 lead over Canton-Gala and kept the pressure coming to take a 17-7 lead at the end of the first period.
Jacob Harper and Ethan Hett drained threes in the last five minutes for a 32-14 advantage by halftime.
Marion kept up the pressure in the second half, stringing together a 12-point run to go up, 52-18, with two minutes remaining in the period.
Austin Pederson earned back-to-back baskets off steals with an assist from Harper to give Marion a 58-20 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The reserves took over in the fourth period, with Morgan Wheeler the only Warrior to score. Canton-Galva put up seven points for the final score of 60-31.
McMillin explained that the Warriors had numerous breakdowns on defense and missed several lay-ups.
“It all came from a lack of focus,” he said. “But we’ll deal with (the sloppy play) and it’ll be better next week. We’ll be a more focused team.”
Harper recorded 24 points in three quarters of playing time. Backing him were Pederson with 10 points, Zac Robson with seven points, Jordan Hett with six and Ethan Hett with five.
Girls—Three back-to-back Warrior turnovers gave Marion a rocky start and the Eagles a 4-0 lead early-on, but the Warriors refocused to make it a battle through the rest of the first period.
“We didn’t get off to a very good start, as there were too many turnovers early in the game.,” said coach Kelly Robson. “But we settled in a bit later on and played a solid ball game.”
The teams swapped leads multiple times before a bucket from Corey Shields gave Marion an 11-10 lead at the end of the quarter.
Katie Ehrlich scored on a rebound to start another hard-fought quarter. With Canton-Galva often only a basket behind, Marion held on for a 21-18 margin at halftime.
Marion and Canton-Galva traded leads for the duration of the third quarter. Canton-Galva’s Erika Smith drained a three-pointer at the end of the period to give the Eagles a 31-30 lead.
The two teams continued to swap baskets in the final period.
Momentum finally shifted the Warriors’ way when Kelli Hess hit a free throw to give Marion a 36-35 lead with just under three minutes left. Kaelyn Thierolf hit a free throw and Ehrlich scored at the line and on a layup off a steal to secure the win.
“We are learning how to hang in there when the games are close and keep our composure,” Robson said. “I thought the girls did an excellent job of not letting the close game situation get them rattled at the end of the game.”
Ehrlich led Marion with 17 points, followed by Hess with six points and Shields with five.
“(Katey Ehrlich) was really finding gaps and driving hard to the goal,” Robson said. “I thought Corey (Shields) and Kaelyn (Thierolf) did a nice job battling on the inside.”
Coming —Marion is scheduled to take on Remington Tuesday, with tip-off at 6 p.m. for the girls and 7:30 p.m. for the boys.