MHS girls drop two before holiday

The Marion girls’ basketball team took an undefeated Cottonwood Valley League record into Thursday’s matchup with Sacred Heart, but came away with their first CVL loss, 63-53.

Marion coach Jerry Smith remained optimistic despite the loss.

“It’s a disappointing loss for us,” Smith said. “Hopefully, this doesn’t set us back. I don’t think it will with this bunch. They’re pretty resilient.”

Marion was charged with 30 fouls during the game to Sacred Heart’s nine for the game. The Knights were 20-for-30 from the charity stripe while the Warriors went 4-for-9.

“It came down to the free throws,” Smith said.

The Warriors struggled to contain Knight sharp-shooter Step Wittman, who scored a game-high 26 points.

Marion trailed after one quarter, 18-11. In the second quarter, the Warriors battled back but found themselves trailing nine, 33-24, by quarter’s end.

Throughout most of the second half the Warriors struggled to get anything going offensively.

The Knights extended their defense in the third quarter and the move paid them dividends as they expanded their lead.

But at the 5:41 mark, Marion’s Krista Zogelman nailed a 3-pointer, then stole the ball and scored a layup, prompting a Sacred Heart timeout.

After the timeout, Sacred Heart’s Wittman was fouled on back-to-back drives to the basket and converted two conventional three-point plays.

Despite the sudden Sacred Heart surge, the Warriors only trailed by 10, 43-33, heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final period, Zogelman began ratttling home her jump shot. But the late rally fell short, and the Warriors dropped their fifth game of the season.

Zogelman led Marion with 19 points. Despite being closely guarded, Brandi Peterie finished with 10 points.

Hope-The Marion girls fell to a tough Hope team Tuesday night, 59-33.

“Hope is a good basketball team,” coach Jerry Smith said. “Their guards took us completely out of the game.

“The girls got a little intimidated in the first quarter. We fought back pretty well, but the damage was already done.

“This December we’ve played some pretty good teams,” Smith said.

“When I first looked at the schedule, and somebody would have told me ‘Hey, you’re going to get three wins in December,’ I would have said, ‘I’ll take it and I’ll run with it.'”

Coming-The Warriors entered the holiday break with a 3-5 record overall and a 2-1 mark in the CVL.

Marion will resume play Jan. 4 at home against the Herington Railers.

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