ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion boys bounced back from a season opening loss to win four in a row, including three last week.
The Warriors defeated Chase County in their Cottonwood Valley League opener on Tuesday, then beat Burrton in a makeup game on Thursday before coming back to beat Council Grove in another CVL matchup on Friday.
Chase County-Considering the Marion boys took three minutes and 25 seconds to score their first points of the game, and were already trailing 7-0 when they did score, their 68-51 victory over Chase County was impressive.
But Jared Hett scored seven first-quarter points, and Dale Vogel rounded out the quarter with a basket to give the Warriors a 13-12 lead over the Bulldogs.
Marion never trailed again.
“Our first three possessions we had turnovers and then we missed some makeable shots,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “It just took us a little bit to relax and calm down. Once we did that and started executing a lot better, we were able to capitalize and get some points.”
Marion continued its assault on the Bulldogs in the second quarter, racing to a 27-16 lead with 3:11 left in the half.
But a momentary lapse of concentration enabled Chase County to cut the Warrior lead to 29-28 by halftime.
Ostmeyer also said he told his team the first three minutes of the second half would go a long way in determining the outcome of the contest.
The Warriors outscored the Bulldogs, 24-10. The primary antagonists were Nickolas Hett with seven points and Calvin Riggs with six.
Leading by 25 points into the final quarter, Marion cruised to the 17-point victory.
Nickolas Hett led the Warriors with 14 points while dishing out five assists and grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
Jared Hett added 11 points, three assists and six rebounds and Dale Vogel hit six of six free throws en route to 10 points.
The Warriors hit 26 of 53 field goals or 49 percent, including four of 12 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Ostmeyer said it was a good conference opener.
“We’ve been telling them we have a 12-step process to win the final CVL championship and this was the first step,” he said.
Burrton-The Warriors traveled to Burrton to play their second game of the Inman tournament, which was rescheduled after the previous week’s snowstorm. MHS came home with a 57-53 victory.
“It was one of those makeup games out of league, and it kind of took us out of things,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “But to be able to go on the road and get a win against the defending state champion is pretty satisfying.”
Burrton came out strong and led the Warriors 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, but Marion outscored Burrton in the second quarter, 18-4.
Ostmeyer said Burrton hit some early shots which forced the Warriors to abandon their half court trap and go to their straight man to man, which proved effective.
Leading 30-18 heading into the third quarter, the Warriors coasted to their third win.
“The second half was uneventful,” Ostmeyer said. “We didn’t play too good offensively and we gave up some second shots. I don’t think the game was ever in doubt, but it just wasn’t too exciting.”
Burrton did outscore the Warriors 22-15 in the fourth quarter. A desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer made the final score closer than the game actually was.
Leading the way offensively for the Warriors was Jared Hett, who poured in 18 points, and Joe Svitak who added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Council Grove-Marion rode Thursday night’s momentum and balanced scoring to its fourth consecutive victory, beating Council Grove 55-38.
Coach Rex Ostmeyer said this game was nearly a reversal of Thursday’s contest. Against the Braves, Marion struggled the first half and took off in the second half.
“The first half was just a matter of getting through it,” he said.
Both teams struggled offensively in the opening half, but Marion carried a 23-21 lead into the halftime locker room.
But the second half belonged to the Warriors as they pummeled Council Grove, 32-17, in the final two quarters to claim the win.
The Warriors got 10 points from Jared Hett and Nickolas Hett, but Clayton Chamberland and Joe Svitak both added nine and Dale Vogel chipped in eight.
Ostmeyer said the Warriors rebounded as well as they had all year. As with scoring, no one player dominated the rebounding statistics, but everyone was involved.
No Council Grove player scored in double figures.
Heading into the Christmas break, the Warriors are 4-1 mark overall and 2-0 in the CVL.
Ostmeyer also looks forward to having all his weapons back after early-season injuries.
“I’m looking forward to playing with a full deck,” he said. “Tyler Smith didn’t play against Hillsboro and Tyler Stubenhofer missed the last three games with an ankle injury.
“Once we get a full deck and get our rotation set…we’ll be able to play at the speed we need to play to be good,” he said. “Hopefully, we can keep guys fresh and we can play hard for 32 minutes.”