Written by Katie Morford Tuesday, 11 December 2012 14:37
The Marion boys’ basketball team cruised to three straight wins at the Marion Classic this week to improve to 4-0 and claim the tournament title.
The Warriors defeated Peabody-Burns, 80-42, dealt with Remington, 47-35, in pool play before downing Eureka in the tournament title game, 69-37.
“We have some things that need to be fixed, but we’re athletic and we play hard,” coach Jeff McMillin said. “That’s a pretty good combination.”
Eureka—Marion coach Jeff McMillin said the extra ingredient that gave the Warriors a decisive 69-37 victory Saturday over Eureka for the Marion Classic championship can be summed up in one word: effort.
“I’ve been happy with these boys’ effort all the way through,” McMillin said. “They’re hungry. They want to play hard.”
Marion outscored Eureka by a scorching 25-7 in the first despite the Warrior bench coming in toward the end of the period.
“When we sent that first wave in for the last few minutes of the first quarter, there was not a drop-off at all,” McMillin said. “(The bench) knew they needed to do the exact same job as the guy they were coming in for. They may have even stepped it up a bit.”
The Tornadoes scored 13 points in the second period, but Marion still outscored them to claim a 42-20 lead at the half.
If Eureka hoped to rebound in the second half, the Tornadoes were quickly disappointed as the Warriors set a blistering pace coming out of the locker room.
Marion scored 24 points to the Tornadoes’ eight in the third quarter and gained its biggest lead at 62-24. The Warriors nursed a 65-28 lead at the end of the third period.
The reserves held strong in the final period, allowing the Tornadoes just nine points, for the final 69-37 score.
“I think it bodes well,” McMillin said. “If we focus and we play well, we can play with anyone on the schedule.”
Marion received stellar nights from its top two scorers, with Jacob Harper and Jordan Hett racking up 24 and 23 points, respectively. Zac Robson added nine.
Harper also led on the boards with seven rebounds and Robson pulled down five.
The Warriors shot nearly 53 percent from the field and 46 percent from three-point range, and knocked down 11 of 15 free throws.
They had 20 points off turnovers to Eureka’s six, and beat the Tornadoes on the boards, 34-28. They also had 18 points from three-point range.
Remington—Marion got the upper hand over Remington Friday night, outlasting a late comeback effort for a 47-35 win to advance to the finals of the Marion Classic.
“It was a tough, hard-fought game,” coach Jeff McMillin said. “I thought coming in it would be our toughest game yet, and it definitely was.”
Both teams fought for the early advantage in a mostly defensive battle the first few minutes of the game.
But Marion took the edge when Jacob Harper tied the game with four minutes left, followed by two more buckets from Harper off Jordan Hett assists.
Hett closed the first period with a three-pointer to make it 11-6, Warriors.
Ethan Hett drained a perimeter bucket to start the second quarter, then hit another three-pointer at 3:53 to make it 19-12.
Jordan Hett scored consecutive baskets off steals to finish a seven-point scoring streak at the end of the half.
As the Warriors struggled to score coming out of the locker room, the Broncos chipped away Marion’s double-digit lead in the third period despite Jordan Hett’s seven points, including a three-pointer.
But Marion held strong for the final period, with Jordan Hett scoring eight points and Harper and Taylor Heidebrecht adding five and four, respectively, to stall the Broncos’ comeback hopes and seal the 12-point win.
“Our guys had to dig in a bit and not make mistakes under pressure,” McMillin said. “We played with pretty good focus down the stretch to hold onto the win.”
Jordan Hett finished with 26 points, followed by Harper with 11 points and five rebounds. Ethan Hett registered six points from three-point range and led on defense with six rebounds.
Peabody-Burns—Marion overwhelmed the visiting Warriors for an 80-42 win Tuesday night in the first round of pool play.
“We were happy with the result, but thought we lacked in a lot of areas we work on every day,” coach Jeff McMillin said.
Marion broke out of the gate fast, outscoring Peabody-Burns, 21-8, in the first period and sinking three three-point shots.
Peabody-Burns rallied for five points to start the second quarter, but seniors Jacob Harper and Jordan Hett combined for an 11-point run to make it 32-13 with 4:21 left. Marion took care of business from there, leading 41-21, at the break.
Marion came out just as strong in the third quarter, building a 60-33 lead. The bench took over midway through the final period and scored 14 more points in the final four minutes for the 80-42 final.
Harper and Hett posted 19 points each to lead Marion. Austin Pederson added 13 points and Taylor Heidebrecht 10.
Coming—The Warriors are scheduled to play at Canton-Galva in a non-league contest Friday, with tipoff at 7:30 p.m.