ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY TOM STOPPEL
Christmas might seem a little brighter this year for coach Daryl Enos thanks to a pair of big wins by his Marion girls last week, the latest being a 69-57 win over Haven on Friday.
“That’s the best we’ve played this season so far,” Enos said. “We won with a combination of good offense and defense.”
Allie Maddox continued her strong shooting, leading four Warriors in double figures with 19 points. She also hauled in 10 rebounds.
Toni Gordon added 17 points, Megan Hudson 14 and Erin Carr 12 while Kari Tajchman pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds.
“We like it when our scoring is that balanced,” Enos said. “We had some kids on the bench (in foul trouble) and some other kids kind of stepped up.
“Toni and Allie were both hitting from inside and outside and Erin Carr hit some nice shots,” he added. “Megan got some nice penetration as well.”
A quick start gave Marion an 18-8 advantage after one quarter
“We got some steals that resulted in lay ups,” Enos said of the fast start. “Our defense in the half court got us going.”
Marion took a 31-20 into intermission. Good shooting-25 of 51 for the game (49 percent)-was a key factor.
“We got some easy shots, I won’t deny that. We’ve gotten easy shots before, but we made them in this game,” Enos said.
Although the Wildcats never threatened to take the lead, the outcome got worrisome for Marion late in the game as three players found themselves with four fouls, but only Maddox fouled out.
Feeling some desperation, Haven began putting Marion on the foul stripe during the final three minutes, but the Warriors made 16 of their 26 free throws to preserve the lead and the victory.
Tajchman, Hudson and Carr each contributed four assists to the team total of 18. With the win, Marion evened its record at 3-3 heading into the holiday break.
“These were both good wins,” Enos said of Haven and Halstead. “The girls are realizing the pressure defense works and they’re more committed to it than they’ve ever been.
The girls are in great shape, but we have Christmas coming,” he said with a laugh. “In years past, we’re used to using a lot of kids and we don’t have that luxury this year. But I think that’s working to our advantage.”
Halstead-The Warriors defeated Halstead, 60-56, in a non-league contest last Tuesday
Marion opened a 16-11 lead after one quarter but led by only two, 27-25, at halftime.
“We played a good, steady game,” coach Daryl Enos said. “Everyone really chipped in and it was a good collective effort.”
In the third quarter, Marion post player Toni Gordon was whistled for her fifth personal foul.
“I just wasn’t aware that she had four before that,” Enos said.
At the end of the quarter, Halstead led, 38-37.
“I could see the girls shoulders droop,” Enos said about the loss of Gordon. “I thought we can’t have this, so I called a timeout and got their attitudes corrected.”
That adjustment turned into a 23-18 fourth-quarter advantage that led to the 60-56 win.
Allie Maddox poured in 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the floor and 8-for-11 from the foul line.
“She had a great game,” Enos said. “She’s very tough inside.”
Also reaching double figures were Gordon (15), Erin Carr (11) and Megan Hudson (10).
Marion made 22 of 62 shots (36 percent) from the field including 3 of 11 (27 percent) from the 3-point arc.
“We really fought our way back into this game,” Enos said. “It was a really good win for us.”
Coming- Marion returns to action Jan. 6 against the Hoisington Cardinals at Marion.