ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
After winning the first two games of the Inman Tournament, the Marion girls suffered their first defeat of the season in the finale, 50-36.
Marion trailed 12-4 after one quarter.
“We got off to a very poor start,” coach Daryl Enos said. “It seemed like we were nervous or something. We just never found anyone who could do anything with the ball.”
In the second quarter, Marion was outscored 16-12 and saw the deficit grow to 28-16 by halftime.
“At halftime, it was more of a fit than anything else,” Enos said with a laugh. “We came back and cut it to within seven, but we turned the ball over a few times in a row and were right back to where we were before.”
Inman continued to pull away in the third quarter and led 42-25 after three quarters before nailing down the 14-point win.
“Inman has a nice team, but I still think we could have beaten them,” Enos said. “I just wasn’t happy with much of anything.”
Marion hit just 14 of 53 shots (26 percent) including two of nine (22 percent) from the 3-point line.
Allie Maddox led the team with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including 2-of-8 from behind the arc.
Ami Froese took game honors with 20 points for Inman.
“Most of those were stick-backs for her,” Enos said. “She got loose a couple of times in our man-to-man and we didn’t do a good job of blocking her out.”
With the loss, Marion falls to 3-1 for the season.
“I thought we’d have a minimum of a 4-2 record going into Christmas, and I really thought we had a shot at being 6-0,” Enos said.
St. John-The Warriors won their third straight game of the season Thursday with a 63-52 win over St. John at Marion.
Marion sizzled from beyond the 3-point line, hitting 7-of-12.
“That was pretty decent,” coach Daryl Enos said. “I think we were just hitting better, because we were really taking about the same shots we took in the first two games.”
Enos said he wished his girls could shoot with the same proficiency from closer to the hoop.
“We’re still pretty iffy on our short shots, and I don’t know why. If we would have hit some of those, it would have saved us a bunch of shots,” he said.
Marion led 15-12 after one quarter and stretched the advantage to 27-20 at halftime.
A four-point edge in the third quarter made the score 46-35 after three quarters and the Warriors seemed on their way to a 3-0 start.
But St. John battled back, taking advantage of Marion fouls to cut the margin to a single point with four minutes remaining.
“We got beat down the floor a couple of times and that shouldn’t happen to us,” Enos said. “We’re just not anticipating what’s going on quick enough.”
Leann Thomas and Toni Gordon scored 19 and 17 points, respectively, to lead Marion.
“Leann is a smart player and I think she’s pretty focused,” Enos said. “She’s picked up a few techniques we’ve been trying to teach the past three years and I think she’s putting them to better use than most of the other girls.”
Thomas connected on seven of 18 shots, including both of her 3-point attempts, making her 5-for-6 from long range this season.
Marion maintained its lead down the stretch with some clutch free throws and and active defense combining with St. John’s over zealousness.
“We got some calls in the last two minutes and you tend to get desperate when you’re trying to make up a deficit,” Enos said. “I think my biggest concern is that we’re having to deal with defensive issues I didn’t think we’d have to deal with.
“There’s not much wrong with our offense,” he added. “We’re getting good shots, but we just need to concentrate better and be able to hit those short shots and it’ll make us a whole lot better team.”
The Warriors hit 24 of 59 shots overall (41 percent) but just eight of 17 (47 percent) free throws. St. John made only 16 of 30 free throws (53 percent).
“We’d like to be able to hit at least 60 percent,” Enos said.
Thomas and Gordon were joined in double figures by Allie Maddox, who chipped in 11.
“Our seniors and juniors need to realize who the leaders of this team are, and that they need to get the job done themselves and not rely on others,” Enos said. “Once they do that, I think we’re going to be a pretty tough team.”
Burrton-The Warriors got off to a good start in the Inman Tournament by beating Burrton in Marion, 73-46, on Tuesday.
Marion jumped to a 17-7 lead after one quarter and maintained a 29-20 advantage at halftime behind the hot shooting of Toni Gordon, who hit two 3-pointers on her way to 12 first-half points.
Marion started the second half with a 12-4 run and pushed its lead to 41-24 with 4:09 to play in the third quarter.
Coach Daryl Enos said his press was effective in stretches.
“I thought we improved our press a lot from Friday night, but we still didn’t shut off the sidelines or rotate very well, so we’ve got work to do,” he said.
Enos said his team was sloppy at times at both ends.
“We still had 27 turnovers and 28 fouls, so we’ve got our work cut out for us,” he said.
Leading 49-33 after three quarters, Marion outscored the visitors 24-13 in the final stanza for the 27-point win.
Gordon led all scorers with 21 points on 5-of-12 shooting including 3-of-5 from the 3-point arc.
“Toni is a good outside shooter and we’ve encouraged her to shoot it,” Enos said. “You’re going to see an outside threat from all our kids. But we didn’t do anything different for Toni tonight than we did Friday night. She was just on tonight and off the other night.”
Leann Thomas joined Gordon in double figures with 14 points while Molly Rhodes added 9.
Marion connected on just eight of 17 free throws (47 percent) while the Chargers made 19 of 36 (53 percent). The Warriors were 25-for-49 (51 percent) from the field, including five of 16 (31 percent) from the 3-point line.
Coming-The Warriors were scheduled to travel to Halstead on Tuesday night before concluding their pre-Christmas schedule at home this Friday night against Haven.