The Marion boys challenged league leader Berean Academy the entire game and were nearly perfect at the free-throw line (15-16) in a physical ball game. But at the end of the day Marion lost to top-ranked Berean (14-1), 47-39, to put MHS at 8-7 overall and 1-4 in the Heart of America League. The Marion girls trailed by 27 points at halftime, rallied in the third quarter to outscore Berean, 16-10, but lost 55-37. Marion now stands at 2-13 overall and 1-4 in the league.
BOYS – Marion struggled to get the proverbial ball rolling against an aggressive Berean defense that forced several turnovers early in the game. Berean scored eight unanswered points in the first 3:10 before Jordan Hett hit a couple free throws and Jacob Harper sank a three-pointer to halt Berean’s momentum. Hett scored in the last 1:21 to make it 13-12, but Berean snuck in two free throws with 0.8 seconds left to make it 14-11 at the end of the period.
The second quarter turned sluggish compared to the first one, with multiple fouls and free throws. Marion scored just twice from the field, but made seven charities. Harper hit one with 44 seconds left to pull Marion within two, but Berean drained a three-pointer with one second on the clock to give Berean a 27-22 lead at halftime.
Though they rebounded well, Marion continued to struggle in transition and penetrating the lane in the second half. The two teams played to an 8-8 stand off in the third quarter for a 35-30 Berean lead.
In the fourth quarter, Marion struggled to score. Berean outscored MHS, 8-6, in the first 4:30 to take a 43-34 lead. Mikael Antoszyk drained a three-pointer with 3:24 remaining to draw Marion within six points and keep hope alive, but a series of fouls and turnovers hurt MHS in the final minutes. Berean scored four more points in the final three minutes to secure the win and maintain its 14-game winning streak.
Hett led Marion in scoring with 16 points and Jacob Harper added 12.
GIRLS – Berean took the lead right off the bat with three straight three-pointers to give them a 26-3 margin at the end of the first quarter. Berean pushed the lead to 40-13 by halftime with a 17-7 second quarter.
But Marion picked up its game in the second half. Though they slowed down offensively in the final period, with Whitney Gordon and Corey Shields combining for eight points, Marion stiffened its defense. MHS allowed Berean just five points in the fourth quarter, narrowing the lead to the final 18-point margin. Gordon scored 16 points in the loss.