Marion boys go 2-1 at Inman tournament

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
The Marion boys won two out of three basketball games at the Inman Preseason Basketball Tournament last week. The Warriors won against Inman and Burrton before falling to St. John-Hudson in the tournament finale on Friday.



St. John-Marion had an opportunity to sweep their tournament foes, but came up short against the Tigers, 55-49.



The Warriors got down early in the contest, 6-4. But Marion’s Braxton Skiles hit back-to-back baseline layups late in the first quarter to put Marion ahead, 12-6.



The Tigers started the second quarter with an 8-0 run to go ahead 14-12 with 4:37 remaining in the quarter.



The Warriors called time out, then came back to tie the game. The two teams swapped the lead several times before Marion headed into the locker room with a two-point halftime lead.



In the third quarter, the Tigers went on a tear, rattling off 12 unanswered points. The Warriors responded in the final period with a run of their own and closed the margin.



But the Tigers held off the Warriors to hand Marion their second loss of the young season.



“We could have just finished it tonight,” Marion coach Chris Moddlemog said. “We had to battle back and we had people in foul trouble, so we played a little hesitant. We started slowly and we were real streaky. Consistency and execution on offense are going to be key for us.”



Skiles had a season-high 24 points. Brian Bina was the only other Warrior in double digits with 10.



“We weren’t creating our shots, we were just out of sync,” Moddlemog said. “But if we get those kinks worked out, we’re going to be OK.”



Burrton-The Warriors picked up their second win of the tournament Thursday with a 50-42 victory against the Burrton Chargers.



In the first quarter, Burrton dashed to a 17-10 advantage behind the scoring of Nathan Ratzlaff. But Marion made a solid run in the second quarter, taking a 26-21 lead as the buzzer sounded.



The Warriors continued to surge in the third quarter behind Brian Bina, who finished with a game-high 18 points.



Marion took a 40-32 advantage into the final period. Burrton gave the Warriors a run for their money, but Marion’s defense proved to be too strong and they came away with the eight-point win.



“We started slow, and Burrton hung around and hung around,” Moddelmog said. “We never could put them away and we needed to. We were fortunate to win.”



Bina led all scorers with 18 points. Jason Matz turned in an impressive shooting night with 14 points for Marion.



Inman-The Warriors opened the tournament Tuesday by defeating Inman, 56-34.



“It was a good win,” coach Chris Moddlemog said. “Every loose ball was ours, every rebound was ours, and we executed well on offense, and that was big.”



The Warriors jumped to a five-point lead early in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Teutons tied the game at 11 with 4:51 to play, then took the lead when Travis Achilles stole the ball and raced away from the Marion defense for a layup. Inman continued to control much of the second quarter and took a 17-15 lead into the locker room at halftime.



In the third quarter, the Warriors and Teutons traded buckets until Marion broke away to take a 10-point lead. In the final quarter, the Warriors ran away with the game, going up as many as 22 points.



Braxton Skiles led all scorers with 17 points, Robert Verbic had 12, and Brian Bina added 10.



Coming-Marion will take a 2-2 record into Cottonwood Valley League play. Yesterday they opened league play against the Chase County Bulldogs and will play Council Grove on Friday. Next Tuesday, they play out of the league and on the road against Hope.

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