Marion Warriors struggle in return to hardwoods

The Marion Warrior basketball teams finally finished action in the Inman tournament, which had to be rescheduled due to bad weather in December. But given the results against their foes from St. John, the Warriors might have wished they’d have waited a little longer.

Warrior girls-The Marion girls got off to a horrible start, and never recovered in their 52-38 loss to undefeated St. John.

The Warriors fell behind 10-0 to begin the game before Brandi Peterie-Shipman finally connected on two free throws with 1:24 left in the quarter to break the ice.

The first quarter concluded with the Tigers on top, 10-3.

“We had a good practice and I thought we were ready to go,” coach Daryl Enos said after the game. “I don’t know what was wrong with us-if I had the answer to what it was, I’d be rich.”

The second quarter wasn’t much better for Marion.

With the Tigers making a continual pilgrimage to the free-throw line, the Warriors’ foul troubles began to mount and Enos had to experiment with untested combinations.

Beyond putting the Warriors in foul trouble, St. John attempted 44 free throws during the game compared to 18 for Marion.

“We were just a step behind all day,” Enos said. “Pretty much in all aspects of the game-loose balls, rebounds and on defense.”

Luckily for Marion, the Tigers weren’t setting any records for field-goal accuracy either. But the half ended with St. John on top

The Warriors made their most impressive run to begin the second half when they cut the margin to 21-15 with 5:47 to play on a Peterie-Shipman field goal. But the six-point deficit proved to be the closest the Warriors would get.

“We need to get Brandi to shoot more,” Enos said. “We gave up a lot of passes on the inside but we kicked it back out instead of taking it to the basket.

“The way they were calling fouls, if we’d have challenged them a little more, I have no doubt we’d have been on the foul line, too.”

Instead, the Tigers built their lead to 35-21 after three quarters.

With fouls mounting, St.John made their living in the fourth quarter from the foul stripe. They shot 20 free throws and capitalized on 11 to win the ball game.

Marion was whistled for 29 fouls compared to 18 for St. John.

Jill Hannaford and Caitlin O’Dell both fouled out while Emmy Bowers, Peterie-Shipman, Toni Gordon and Leann Thomas all finished with four fouls.

Peterie-Shipman led the Warriors with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Gordon added eight points and six boards while Amy Tajchman scored four points with eight rebounds.

For the game, the Warriors connected on 15 of 43 field-goal attempts (35 percent), and missed their only 3-point attempt.

“I think we gave a good effort, but our execution was just terrible,” Enos said. “We just weren’t on the same page.

“You get to the point as a coach where you try to find five people who click, and then you get into combinations where the players aren’t used to each other and it can either work or it can go from bad to worse,” he added. “I don’t know if it got any worse, but we sure didn’t gain anything.”

With the loss, the Warriors saw their record fall to 4-2 for the season, but Enos remained confident about his squad’s ability.

“I’m just not sure which team is going to show up,” Enos said. “But I told the girls after the game I know they can do it. But I don’t know if they’re as confident about what they can do as I am.”

Warrior boys-The Marion boys saw their record fall to 4-2 with a 57-43 loss to St. John.

Marion started slowly, as did the Warrior girls, and trailed just 19-13 after one quarter.

The Warriors rallied and headed into the fourth quarter with a 36-35 lead.

But the final quarter was all St. John-and Trey Burgan in particular. The Tigers got hot and outscored Marion 22-6 in the final stanza with Burgan pouring in nine points en route to a game-high 19.

St. John connected on six 3-point baskets in the game while the Warriors hit just one. Marion connected on 10 of 15 free throws while the Tigers made good on 12 of 15.

Joe Svitak, coming off the bench, led the Warriors with nine points while Dale Vogel added eight points and Nickolas Hett scored seven.

Due the the tragic death of Calvin Riggs as the result of an accident on Sunday morning, the Warriors games with Sacred Heart, scheduled for Tuesday night, will be played later this month.

The girls play Sacred Heart Jan. 20 while the Marion boys will battle the Knights Jan. 27.

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