ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion boys tested the water in their first Mid-Central Activities Association game Friday night, and found the temperature to be to their liking.
The Warriors came home from Hoisington with a 53-43 win over the Cardinals.
“It was a game I was concerned about, with little or no practice time since Monday,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “The ice storm kind of threw us off kilter a little bit.”
Hoisington on the other hand, used the previous night to knock off the rust by battling Nickerson.
The two teams battled early in the game, with Hoisington taking a 14-13 lead after one quarter.
Adam Heerey hit Marion’s only 3-pointer of the game and Dale Vogel added six points for Marion.
After a 12-12 stalemate in the second period, the Cardinals took a one point lead into halftime.
“We were sluggish in the first half,” Ostmeyer said. “We stood around a lot on offense against their zone-a lot more than we needed to.
“Hoisington hit some shots our scouting report said they wouldn’t hit,” he said. “Defensively, we went to a man-to-man because they shot so well early. But they wore down and started missing later in the game.”
Ostmeyer said his Warriors seemed to adjusted to the defensive style of the Cardinals in the third quarter.
Leading by two points late in that period, Jason Hett ripped down a missed Warrior shot, put it back in the hoop and drew a Hoisington foul. He completed the traditional 3-point play, giving Marion momentum.
“That was a big play,” Ostmeyer said. “Up to that point, that gave us our biggest lead of the game.
“We played much better in the second half,” he added. “We had a much better flow, got a couple of easy baskets and got a couple of putbacks.”
Marion’s 38-33 lead after three quarters prompted the Cardinals to alter their defensive strategy.
“We stretched our lead to as many as 12 points and then we forced them to come out of their zone,” Ostmeyer said.
With a double-digit lead, Marion cruised to the 53-43 win, its first road win of the season. The victory pushed the Warriors’ record to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the MCAA.
Ostmeyer said his team got key contributions from unusual sources.
“I was really pleased with the play of three guys I don’t talk about much but I should-Adam Heerey, Tyson Heidebrecht and Nick Carlson,” he said. “Adam is only 5-feet-8 and led us with seven rebounds, playing against a team that goes 6-5, 6-4 and 6-4.
“He used good anticipation and effort to get those boards,” he added. “Tyson played his usual high-energy game and Nick just played a solid all-around game.
“I don’t talk about them much, but they all did a great job and did the things they’re capable of doing and really helped us.”
Vogel led the Warrior offense with 20 points on 10-for-14 shooting.
“Dale shot the ball well with most of his baskets coming facing the basket,” Ostmeyer said. “They were really big inside and sat in a zone, so a lot of his work had to be from the elbow and from 12 feet in.”
Joining Vogel in double figures was Jason Hett with 15 points, hitting six of 12 shots from the floor and three of five from the charity stripe.
Hoisington won the rebounding battle, 31-28. Heerey and Jason Hett led Marion with seven caroms each.
As a team, the Warriors shot 42.3 percent from the field, including just 1-of-9 from the 3-point arc. Hoisington shot 36.7 percent for the game, including 4-of-11 from beyond the arc.
“It was a workman-like victory and it wasn’t anything pretty,” Ostmeyer said. “Under the adverse circumstances and the long bus trip just to get there, to get out of there with a win is satisfying enough for me.”
Coming-Marion was to host Wichita Collegiate on Tuesday. The Warriors travel to Ellinwood on Friday.