The very young and very aggressive Lyons Lions made the Warriors pay for early sluggishness with consecutive makes out of the gate that put Marion in a 5-0 hole. A sustained run multiplied the Lions’ lead to 14-3 during the first 4:51.
The Warriors outscored Lyons 6-3 in the rest of the frame, but tumbled to a 28-19 deficit with 2:41 to play in the half.
“We didn’t panic,” coach Randy Savage said. “We’ve become a lot better at not panicking, but we could have more fun if we played our best game from the start.”
After a pair of dribble-drives by Kayley Heerey netted three free throws, the Warriors stood their ground at the defensive end.
But after a missed shot, a loose ball landed between two Marion players and neither retrieved it, allowing Lyons a second chance to add to their lead before the break.
Even though the Lions misfired again, Savage went to the bench en masse with 55 seconds remaining.
Kimber Hardey took the message to heart and showed a measure of veteran mettle on Marion’s next possession, collecting an offensive rebound and throwing in a 2-pointer.
The 5-0 Warrior run made it 28-24 going into the break, and Lyons was unable to match Marion in the second half.
Julia Zeiner tied it at 30-up with a putback 3:27 into the third. Marion took the lead for good a moment later.
Heerey drew a foul 4:08 into the third quarter and buried two foul shots. Lyons bounced back with a zealous possession that resulted in multiple shots and multiple offensive rebounds, but no points.
Lauren Helmer drew a foul and hit a game-tying free throw and Heerey stole the ball and finished off the game’s last lead change with a breakaway layup.
Zeiner cemented it with a pullup jumper along the baseline, making it 37-33 and inducing a Lyons’ time out at the 1:53 mark.
Lyons closed to 41-39 on a long 2-pointer by Meg Kepka midway through the fourth, but Zeiner restored Marion’s lead and sent Kepka to the sideline with four fouls on Marion’s following trip.
Then Heerey made a 3-pointer from the right wing side of the perimeter with 4:49 to go in the game, and the Warriors wrapped up the win going away.
Marion outscored Lyons 10-6 the rest of the way. Heerey and Zeiner each scored 19 points. Burrola and Anna Nusser led Lyons with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Nickerson— The Warriors edged Nickerson 44-43 Jan. 29 in Marion. Marion put together a 13-8 fourth quarter to earn the win. Kayley Heerey threw in 19 points, and Lindsay Hett and Julia Zeiner each scored 11.
Coming—Marion (8-6 overall, 5-0 league) visited Haven (10-3, 5-0) Tuesday night. The Warriors face Halstead (6-6, 3-2) Friday night in Marion. Marion hosts Smoky Valley (8-5, 3-2) Tuesday night.