After battling back from a 24-18 halftime deficit, Marion fell short of advancing to the winners’ bracket of the Trojan Classic by?falling 44-42 to Riley County?thanks to?a last second Falcon steal and lay up.
Following a game-tying lay up by Kyle Cromwell, Marion called a time out to set up an inbounds play to try and win the game with 3.9 seconds left. Out of the time out, Jordan Versch set up with the ball out of bounds 94-feet from his own basket.
Versch attempted to pass the ball into Isaac Hett, who was cutting away from Versch towards the basket and the sideline. Versch?s pass was intercepted by Byce Chaviez. Chaviez drove towards the basket and put up a one-handed runner that rolled around, touching every inch of the rim before falling in.
The last second steal ended a fourth quarter where neither team could take control of the contest.
The fourth quarter started out in a 30-30 tie, thanks to a third quarter buzzer-beater three by Wil Case. Thirty-five seconds into the final stanza, Eric Vogel picked up his fourth foul and sat down.
Moments later, Marion took and early fourth quarter 34-32 lead on two free throws by Hett.
Neither team scored until Vogel returned to the game, extending the Warrior?s lead to 36-32 with a driving lay up with approximately three minutes to play.
After Riley County tightened the score back to two points, the Falcons Ethan Dhuyvetter committed two fouls in 20 seconds to foul out. Dhuyvetter was whistled for a charge taken by Hett with 2:25 left to play. At 2:08, he fouled Vogel, who sunk two free throws to give Marion a 38-34 lead.
Riley County then scored four straight points to retie the score at 38. After a basket by William Seaton, Marion?showed a glimpse of the future. On the inbound from the Riley County baseline, Drew Maddox committed a turnover by hitting a Hillsboro High School lighting fixture trying to throw a long pass to Hett , who was streaking down the court toward the Warriors basket.
On the ensuing possession, Vogel forced a jump ball but Marion squandered the next possession. The next defensive trip down the floor for Marion, Vogel fouled out of the contest. Riley County tied the game at 38 on the subsequent free throws.
Marion retook the lead, 40-38 with 30 seconds remaining on a lay up by Hett. Hett then fouled Seaton on the defensive end. Seaton hit both free throws to tie the game 40-40 with 26.6 seconds.
The Warriors responded as Case put in a lay up off an assist from Hett to put Marion up 42-40.
Seaton and Calvin Kenney lead the way for Riley County with 12 points each. The last second runner by Chaviez was his only bucket of the game.
Marion was led by Hett with 13 points. Vogel had 12 and Case scored 10. Versch had five points and Mitch Cady booked two.
Marion (4-5, 2-1) moves to the losers’ bracket of the Trojan Classic. They will face host team Hillsboro. The Trojans fell to Sunrise Academy 72-47 in the nightcap game on Tuesday.