ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY TOM STOPPEL
Marion completed its pre-holiday schedule Friday with a disappointing 50-40 loss at Haven.
The Warriors scored only six, nine and seven points in the first three quarters, respectively.
“It was real similar to Tuesday night (a 51-39 loss to Halstead) in that we just couldn’t get the ball in the basket,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “We only shot 25 percent from the field against their zone.
“We missed some early shots and got hesitant and never did really get into a flow until the fourth quarter.”
In that fourth quarter, the Warriors made a late charge to slice the Wildcat lead to just six points, but couldn’t hit the crucial basket to get over the hump. The Warriors did outscore Haven in the quarter, 18-16.
“We just aren’t playing well until the fourth quarter, when we begin to play with a sense of urgency,” Ostmeyer said. “We cut it to a two-possession game but it was too little too late.”
The Warriors connected on just 15 percent of their shots through three quarters.
Jason Hett led the Warriors with 18 points and Emmanuel Jackson added 12 points.
Marion finished the game with 26 percent (14 -55) accuracy from the floor, including 8-for-22 shooting from behind the 3-point arc.
The loss drops Marion to 1-5 for the season.
“I hope the break does us some good,” Ostmeyer said. “We just don’t have any confidence right now. We need to find a sense of urgency to play well for 32 minutes.”
Halstead-A horrid first quarter on offense doomed the Warriors last Tuesday in a 51-39 loss to the Halstead Dragons in Marion.
“That slow start did us in, but we never did get untracked offensively, really,” coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “We struggled to score all night long.”
In the opening quarter, the Warriors managed only two points and trailed 12-2 at the first break.
Ostmeyer said execution was only part of the Marion’s woes.
“We missed a truckload of easy shots-and I’m talking layups-especially in the first quarter,” he said. “We got good looks, but we’re just not finishing.
“You can’t win if you don’t get the ball in the basket, no matter what else you do.”
The game took an upturn in the second quarter when the Warriors cut the Dragon lead to 19-15.
A 7-0 flurry in the final three minutes of the half, however, sent Halstead to the locker room with a 26-15 lead.
Marion made only seven of 24 field-goal attempts (29 percent) in the half, including one of seven (14 percent) from behind the 3-point arc.
Halstead canned 10 of 23 shots overall (44 percent), despite 0-for-7 shooting from behind the arc.
At the end of three quarters, the Warriors’ deficit had grown to 36-22.
“We forced a lot of things, and once we started to struggle and press to get back into the game, we had to try harder,” Ostmeyer said. “But it seemed like the harder we tried, the worse we got.”
Ostmeyer had his troops turn up the pressure in the final quarter.
“We tried to get a steal, but if we didn’t get it we put them on the line,” he said.
Unfortunately for Marion, Halstead hit their free throws. In fact, the Dragons converted 15 of 17 during the fourth quarter, which accounted for all 15 of their points.
Marion, meanwhile, scored 17 points but still came up short by 12 points.
Jason Hett led the Warriors with 11 points as Marion “heated up” in the second half to finish the game hitting 29 percent (15 of 51) from the field, including one of for 15 (6.7 percent) from 3-point range.
Hett also led in rebounding with seven. The Warriors out-rebounded their opponent, 39-32.
Marion also struggled from the foul stripe, converting eight of 15 attempts (53 percent) while Halstead made 25 of 28 (89 percent).
The Dragons hit a frigid 18 percent (3-17) from the field in the second half to finish the game at just under 33 percent (13-40), including an 0-for-10 showing from 3-point range.
“We really played pretty doggone well on defense,” Ostmeyer said. “We just need to get some confidence, that’s a lot of it.”
Marion committed 22 turnovers during the game.
“Obviously, we need to improve our execution and get better shots, but we really need to establish some consistency,” Ostmeyer said. “We need balance and some other guys to step up and score eight to 10 points per game so everybody can’t focus their defense on Jason (Hett) and Travis (Hett).”
With the non-league loss, Marion fell to 1-4 for the season.
Coming- The Warriors return to action Jan. 6 when they host the Hoisington Cardinals in Marion’s first MCAA game of the season.