ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW JOST
The Marion girls won their first game since returning from holiday break, routing the visiting Railers 54-11.
The Warriors came out with intense defensive pressure that put the Railers on the ropes early. A 10-foot jumper from sophomore Toni Gordon rattled through the iron with 20 seconds to play in the first quarter, extending Marion’s lead 20-6.
As the second quarter opened, Marion struck first with a quick baseline jumper by Caitlin O’Dell. From that point, everything went white for the Railers.
Attacking with full-court pressure, the Warriors stopped Herington’s offense cold-so cold that the Railers were only able to attempt two shots during the entire period.
Coach Daryl Enos was pleased with the level of his team’s play.
“We ran a multiple number of defenses (Friday), and I thought they looked pretty good,” he said.
On the other end of the court, Marion’s offense ran wild, putting together a 15-0 run. Easily controlling the basketball, the girls connected on seven of 23 field-goal attempts and one of three attempts from the line.
“(Herington) doesn’t have the numbers to really keep up with us. I know they were fighting sickness, but we didn’t come down to that level,” Enos said.
Briefly returning its five starters following halftime, Marion never gave Herington an opportunity to get back in the game.
Capitalizing on a steal by Courtney Geis, O’Dell added two points near the seven-minute mark. Moments later, Amy Tajchman sunk another basket from the left wing, putting Marion ahead 39-6 with 6:23 left in the third quarter.
Still struggling offensively, the Railers finally answered Marion’s scoring streak with an inside bucket by Kelsey Roberts at the 5:07 mark, making the score 42-8.
But the thrashing continued. Finishing strong, Brandie Peterie-Shipman hit two points inside before converting at the line for a traditional three-point play.
The Railers at last found mercy in the fourth quarter, thanks to a continuous running clock. But poor shooting combined with a stubborn Marion defense made the final buzzer a welcomed relief for Herington.
Brandie Peterie-Shipman led the Warriors with 14 points and six rebounds, while O’Dell scored 13 and had a team-high four steals. Ten Warriors scored in the contest.
Enos said details were a key factor leading into the win.
“Our focus for this month of January is taking care of the small stuff,” he said. “That way we get things polished, and in February we can add a few more things and get ready for post-season.”
Coming off last week’s loss to St. John, the win against Herington should prove to be a confidence builder for the Warrior girls as they prepare for the rest of their season Enos said.
“The girls came out and played tonight-I’m pretty happy about that. We stayed at our level and played our ballgame.”
With the win, the Marion girls bumped their record to 5-2 before heading down to Wichita Tuesday night where they took on the Knights of Trinity Academy.