ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW JOST
After a bumpy first half, the Marion girls took care of Wichita Trinity Tuesday, outscoring the visiting Knights by 21 points in the second half and coasting to a 63-32 victory.
Even though the Warriors maintained a firm lead the entire night, Trinity hung in the chase throughout the first half, raising the concerns of Marion coach Daryl Enos.
“They were in the hunt,” Enos said. “I was a little concerned at halftime, and I thought if we didn’t do things in the third quarter it could be an interesting game.”
Marion’s offense got off to a shaky start in the first quarter, completing six of 21 field goal attempts. But fortunately for the Warrior’s, Trinity fared worse. As the second quarter began, Marion led 14-6.
“We were coming out just firing up the first shot available,” Enos said.
From there, the battle was back-and-forth with neither team gaining significant ground. At the break, Marion had extended its lead by only two points, 28-18, and underdog Trinity looked to have momentum for the second half.
“We were eight or nine points ahead most of the first half-apparently that was satisfactory-not for me, and I really don’t think it was for them, but somebody really just has to step up,” Enos said.
In their first meeting only a month earlier, the Warriors easily controlled the Knights, 35-8, at halftime. Enos knew his team couldn’t afford to play at a lower level.
Opposite of their first match-up, Enos said his team played slow and apprehensive defense, struggling over hypothetical situations.
“If you’re sitting there thinking about everything all the time-every move you make-it’s too late,” he said.
Shortly before the start of the second half, Enos told his team to rely on their innate talents and just play.
They must have listened.
With 6:50 left in the third quarter, Marion started a 12-0 run that lasted through the 3:40 mark.
Compounding that, the Warriors were boosted by a greater defensive intensity, putting up eight points off four steals in the third quarter. By the start of the fourth period, the game was leaning heavily in their favor.
Wichita Trinity had little fight left for the final eight minutes of play. They hit only one field goal to Marion’s five, and under a running clock, the final minutes expired quickly.
Eight players scored in the win, which bumps the Warriors’ record to 8-2 in the Cottonwood Valley League and 12-6 overall.
Brandi Peterie-Shipman collected 18 points to lead the Warriors offensively. She was followed by Emmy Bowers with 10 points, nine rebounds and Allie Maddox with nine points.
In addition, Peterie-Shipman and Bowers each had four steals.
Hannah Hansen led the Knights with 12 points.
“We’re trying to get the girls to understand that they can take control of some things on the floor-without me having to mention something to them,” Enos said. “They’re smart enough; they know what they need to do.”
“They need to recognize that and take care of business.”
The Warriors wrap up their regular season this week. After traveling to Council Grove last night, they play host to the Chase County Bulldogs Thursday night.