ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
Playing without their third-leading scorer for two of the three games at the Trojan Classic in Hillsboro, Marion did enough late to defeat a pesky Inman team 42-40 for seventh-place.
Robert Verbic’s off-balanced jumper at the buzzer gave the Warriors the win.
Coach Chris Moddlemog said Verbic’s shot wasn’t the way they drew up the play during the timeout prior to the shot, but it counted just as much.
“We really didn’t have anything,” Moddlemog said. “We were trying to get the ball to Braxton (Skiles), but it was probably good to stay with Robert because he had the hot hand in the second half. He stepped in and hit the shot. He stepped up like a senior leader should.”
With both Jason Matz and Brian Bina out of the lineup due to illness Thursday night against Belleville, the Warriors struggled again to find team chemistry early in their game against the Teutons.
Trailing 7-2 in the early minutes of the game, the Warriors battled back from the five-point deficit. Keith Dudley dropped in two shots in the paint in the first period to help the Warriors take a 12-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Teutons regained the lead, outscoring the Warriors 12-6 in the second quarter.
But the Warriors stormed back after intermission to take an early 28-25 lead. Inman’s Matt Fuqua responded with back-to-back 3-pointers and jumper to help Inman take a 33-29 lead into the final quarter.
Marion’s defense came alive fown the stretch and held the Teutons to just four points. Meanwhile, the Warrior offense came alive and rattled off 13 points, including Verbic’s buzzer-beater.
Verbic had 21 points to lead all scorers. Dudley added seven.
Belleville 51, MHS 32
Shooting poorly in the second half, Marion was unable to catch Belleville, losing 51-32.
The Warriors managed only 14 points in the final two quarters while the Buffaloes scored 25.
Keith Dudley had 12 points in the Marion loss.
Medicine Lodge 58, MHS 48
Despite putting up a solid fight against the Indians, Marion fell to Medicine Lodge, 58-48, Monday at the Trojan Classic.
The Warriors and Indians both struggled to find offensive chemistry in the first half. Medicine Lodge took a 31-29 lead into the locker room at intermission. In the third quarter, Marion was held to nine points to the Indians’ 14.
The Warriors battled back in the final quarter but ultimately could not close the gap.
Robert Verbic and Jason Matz each had 11 points for Marion. Tyler Stubenhofer had a solid game with 10 points.
Coming-The Warriors will get a much-needed rest until traveling to Lincolnville Jan. 29 to face the Centre Cougars.