The Marion girls stumbled out of the gate and, despite a third-quarter rally, dropped a 44-25 contest to Hutchinson Trinity Tuesday night.
The teams traded scores to open the game, but Marion’s final lead came midway through the opening period, 5-4, when Kaelyn Thierolf scored on a second-chance basket.
It was also the Warriors’ final points of the quarter. The Celtics used a 10-0 run to build a 14-5 lead by the end of the period.
“I didn’t feel like we played with very good energy from the very beginning,” coach Kelly Robson said.
The Warriors continued to struggle with turnovers and did not score until Katey Ehrlich made a basket with 4:48 remaining before halftime.
Ehrlich added two free-throws 30 seconds later, but the Celtics jumped to a 23-11 lead at the break.
The Warriors narrowed the gap in the third quarter, with Erin Meierhoff scoring six of Marion’s 11 third-quarter points.
After the Celtics scored their final basket of the third period less than three minutes in, Marion surged 9-0 to narrow the gap to 29-22 going into the final period.
“I thought in the first half we settled for jump shots again,” Robson said. “We tend to be a jump-shooting team for awhile, and we need to be reminded that we need to go a little more to the glass or at least get it inside a little bit of time.
“I think we committed ourselves a little bit more to doing that in the third quarter.”
But Trinity regained a double-digit lead at 33-22 with 6:34 left, and the Celtics maintained the lead to the end.
Meierhoff scored Marion’s final points with 2:48 to play, and the Celtics ended with five unanswered points to claim the 19-point victory.
“Team-wise, it was just kind of disappointing not to play a little bit better on this last one here at home,” Robson said. “We’ve done so well the last four or five games.
“I really felt we’ve competed well, and tonight was a little bit of a let-down.”
Meierhoff led the Warriors with 10 points.
Coming––The Marion girls (5-15) enter the Hillsboro sub-state tournament as the No. 8 seed and are scheduled to travel to Hillsboro to face the No. 1 Trojans (18-2) in quarterfinal action Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The winner of that game will face the winner of No. 4 Southeast of Saline (11-9) and No. 5 Hutch Trinity (10-9).
Joining the sub-state lineup are: Haven, Lyons, Southeast of Saline, Hutch Trinity, Halstead and Salina-Sacred Heart.
Semifinal games are scheduled to begin Thursday, with the championship to tip-off Saturday at 6 p.m.
For updated results, visit hillsborofreepress.com.