ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Facing a Cair Paravel-Latin team that was obviously outclassed in the Trojan Classic, Marion coach Daryl Enos knew his team needed a convincing victory.
The Warriors gave it to him, 56-36, to earn fifth place.
“We needed a win,” Enos said. “We know we didn’t play well and we still have a lot of things to work on, but I’d like to think we can build off this win.”
Facing a team that had been outscored 106-35 in its first two tournament games, Marion struggled in the early going.
With less than a minute left in the first quarter, the Lions led 7-6, But Marion finished the quarter with four points to lead, 10-7.
The Warriors finally woke up in the second quarter, sprinting to a 30-14 halftime lead.
Enos said Marion went back to basics to establish continuity on offense.
“We just ran one of our three offenses because we don’t run the other two very well,” he said. “We’ve ran this one for three years now and it looked like we knew what we were doing.
“We had good ball movement for the most part and our spacing on offense was much better.”
An 18-4 third quarter extended Marion’s lead to 48-22 heading into the final period. Toni Gordon scored of the eight points don the way to a team-high 16.
Enos said Gordon had more freedom and opportunities due to the basic offense.
“Everybody has a good shot in that offense,” he said. “Our posts ran a lot more cuts and we emphasize running down the floor with our heads up.”
A 10-point fourth quarter by Cair Paravel’s Carly Shafer, on the way to a game-high 19 points, enabled the Lions to cut the lead to 20 points at the final buzzer.
Marion made 23 of 57 field-goal attempts (40.4 percent) and one of seven from behind the arc (14.3 percent) while hitting seven of 12 (58.3 percent) free throws.
The Warriors were out-rebounded 45-29, Megan Hudson pulled down seven.
The Warriors forced 44 Lion turnovers.
With the win, Marion moved to 5-6 for the season.
“A win is a win,” Enos said. “The girls are happy and talking about this being a great win, but they also know we have some things we still need to take care of.”
Wamego-The Warriors lost to Wamego in the second round of pool play Thursday night in Marion, 53-49.
After a tight first quarter, Marion trailed by only two, 13-11. But a 16-4 second quarter advantage by Wamego pushed the lead to 29-15 by halftime.
Wamego was aided by 28 Warrior turnovers that led to 21 Red Raider points.
Toni Gordon, with 10 points, was the lone Warrior to reach double figures. She also had a team-high seven rebounds. Marion was out-rebounded, 41-44.
Marion hit 15 of 47 field goal attempts (33 percent) while Wamego made 19 of 58 (33 percent).
Belleville-Marion opened Trojan Classic play with a 50-46 loss to Belleville at Marion.
Belleville’s offense in the second half consisted primarily free throws.
“That’s pretty much the story of our life,” coach Daryl Enos said. “They outscored us 21-3 from the free-throw line.”
Marion fell behind 13-6 after one quarter and trailed by as many as nine points in the second quarter, 26-17, with 1:52 to play.
But baskets by Toni Gordon and Leann Thomas cut the margin to five points at the break.
After Marion cut the deficit to three in the first seconds of the second half, Belleville scored nine straight points, including a basket by Nicki Kasl with 4:03 to play that widened the gap to 12 points, 35-23, with 3:45 left in the third quarter.
Kasl’s basket was significant because it was the last one the Buffaloes scored in the final 12 minutes.
Marion rallied to cut the lead to 36-29 by the end of the quarter and eventually pulled within three at 42-39 at the 4:35 mark.
But Belleville, behind 12-of-18 fourth-quarter free-throw shooting held on for the 50-46 victory.
“If our pressure defense would have been working like it was supposed to, we would have pressed them more in the second half,” Enos said. “We’re focusing pretty heavily on rebounding.
“We really need to average between 35 and 40 rebounds per game and lately we’ve been lucky to get 18.”
Belleville outrebounded Marion in this game, 32-27. Gordon had a team-high seven.
Gordon and Jill Hannaford led the Warriors with 10 points each as Marion hit 21 of 43 field-goal attempts (49 percent) compared to Belleville’s 14 of 41 (34 percent).
Marion hit three of six free throws while Belleville connected made 21 of 35.
“We only had 17 turnovers, so that was an improvement,” Enos said. “We have to build off something and the fourth quarter is as good as anything we’ve had lately.”