Marion girls outlast Bulldogs, officials for first win of 2004

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
by

The Free Press

Marion coach Daryl Enos prevailed against Chase County on Friday by using a barrage of Warriors to wear down the Bulldogs, 57-33.

Even before the victory was assured, Enos substituted freely and ultimately used all 12 players.

“I told the girls it’s a little different for me to play 12 girls in a game, but we’re trying to figure out who to sub for whom, and then we ran into foul trouble and that kind of blew things apart,” Enos said. “But I was really pretty happy with our play.”

Whistle-happy officials called 52 fouls in the game, resulting in a two-hour marathon that included 59 free throws.

Enos said the game was exactly what he expected.

“This was typical of a brand-new team,” he said. “Our shots didn’t go in and we couldn’t make a free throw.”

Early, it was a game of chess as each team battled to find its opponent’s weaknesses.

Marion led 9-7 with just 1:25 left in the first quarter when Jill Hannaford nailed a 3-point basket and Chelsi Carlson added a 2-point bucket for a 14-9 lead at quarter’s end.

The Warriors extended the lead to 20-14 with 4:28 left in the half, but managed only one field goal and missed four free throws down the stretch. Chase County led 23-22 at intermission.

Enos said he was pleased with the girls’ effort, but advised them to make wiser decisions on offense.

“I told them about five or six times we came down and took a quick shot,” he said. “We had no offense set up and no rebounders positioned.

“Our philosophy is if you’re open, shoot it. But there is also a point where maybe we ought to have our offense around so we can pick up a rebound.”

Enos said his girls followed his suggestions after halftime with good results.

In the opening two minutes of the third quarter, Toni Gordon scored to give Marion a brief lead. Jordan Mann answered with a 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs on top 26-24.

But those proved to be Chase County’s last points of the quarter. Marion’s press, combined with better shooting, catapulted the Warriors to a 40-26 lead after three quarters.

Allie Maddox scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the quarter, including two 3-pointers that took the heart out of the Bulldogs.

Enos said it was nice to have Maddox back on the hardwoods after missing much of last season with an injury.

“She got tumbled a few times and I was kind of waiting to see how she reacted,” he said. “But she popped back up and gritted her teeth. I was pretty happy about that.”

Chase County whittled Marion’s lead to 40-30, but strong free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter (nine of 12) and Marion’s aggressive full-court pressure (37 Bulldog turnovers) fueled the Warriors the win.

Gordon added 12 points and 13 rebounds to Marion’s attack.

The Warrior pressure resulted in 24 steals, including a team-high five by Sarah Williams and four by Maddox.

As a team, Marion made 16 of 64 shots (25 percent) including four of 15 (27 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.

The Warriors sank 21 of 36 free throws (58 percent) while Chase County made 11 of 23 (48 percent).

Enos said he was pleased to win the season opener but knows his team has a lot of room for improvement.

“We know what we need to work on to get better and we’ll do that,” he said. “But I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort the girls gave tonight.”

Coming-Marion will compete in the Inman preseason tournament this week. The Warriors were scheduled to host Burrton last night (Tuesday) and travel to Inman to battle St. John on Thursday and Inman on Friday.

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