ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
“It didn’t happen-we didn’t execute and they did,” Marion coach Jerry Smith said after Friday’s 49-35 loss to Wichita Independent.
The Warriors ran into a talented Independent team Friday night at Wichita and paid the price for not capitalizing on opportunities, according to Smith.
“I thought we had a great opportunity,” Smith said. “We were playing pretty good defense. We were getting the ball inside and we didn’t take advantage of that all the time tonight. I feel like they made their shots when it counted and we didn’t make the shots we needed to make. We started throwing up some long ones and that made the score seem a little different.”
The Warriors looked destined to beat the 7-1 Panthers, jumping to 7-2 advantage early in the game. But the Panthers clawed their way back and grabbed a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Marion and Independent traded baskets in the second quarter, with the Panthers coming out on top with a 23-17 lead as the buzzer sounded.
In the third quarter, the Warriors battled back into the game forcing several Panther turnovers and narrowing the margin to four points by quarter’s end.
Heading into the final period, the Warriors trailed 34-30 and appeared to have the momentum.
But Wichita Independent stopped the comeback with unanswered back-to-back shots inside the paint.
With 2:03 remaining in the game, Smith was charged with a technical foul. Then, trailing by 14 points with less than 15 seconds left in the game, the Warrior bench was charged with a technical foul resulting in Smith’s ejection from the game.
By the time the buzzer sounded, the Warriors had suffered their sixth loss of the season.
Marion’s Krista Zogelman had 11 points in the losing effort. Brandi Peterie and Stacia Williams, who both fouled out, each had nine points.
Trinity Academy-Krista Zogelman’s 20 points was enough to help the Warriors grab their fourth win in the CVL.
The Warriors took an early lead and never looked back, despite a fourth-quarter surge by the Knights.
Down the stretch, Marion’s Maggie Powers hit several key free throws to help ice the win. She finished with 10 points.
Coming-The Warriors are 4-6 overall and 5-1 in the CVL. Marion has a week off to prepare for the Berean Academy Girls’ Tournament Jan. 21-26 at Elbing.