Marion earns first wins of new year with sweep at Bennington

The Marion basketball teams picked up their first victories of the new year at Bennington Friday night. The Warrior girls started the evening with a 33-30 win, and the Marion boys earned a 46-37 victory over the Bulldogs. Megan Richmond eyes the basket during the third quarter at Bennington. Richmond contributed nine points in Marion?s 33-30 win.

GIRLS?It was a neck and neck battle between Marion and Bennington Friday night, with the teams remaining within four points or less of each other the duration of the game. Marion held on down the stretch to win by three, 33-30.

In a low-scoring first quarter, Katey Ehrlich scored Marion?s first seven points, including a three-point basket with 3:51 left in the opening quarter that gave the Warriors their first lead, 7-5. Each team cashed in a free throw for an 8-6 Marion lead going into the second period.

The second quarter began with turnovers by both teams. Bennington scored the period?s first points to tie the game at 8 with 4:50 left before halftime, and the teams engaged in a back-and-forth battle. After a 5-0 run by the Bulldogs, Marion trailed by three with less than a minute to go, but Kelli Hess drained a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to send the teams into halftime locked at 15.

Megan Richmond opened the third quarter with a basket beyond the arc, and Marion maintained its advantage the duration of the period to lead, 25-23, entering the final period.

Richmond was the first to score to boost Marion to a four-point lead, but Bennington had an answer for each Warrior basket. Marion led, 29-27, with 2:02 to play. But when a Marion turnover led to a Bulldog three-pointer, the Warriors faced a 30-29 deficit with 1:34 to go. Marion turned the ball over on its next possession, too, but fought for the jump ball with less than a minute remaining in the game. The possession arrow, however, faced in favor of the Bulldogs. Kirsten Hansen managed a steal, and Richmond scored with 45 seconds left to boost Marion in front, 31-30.

The Bulldogs? next shot missed its mark, and Kaelyn Thierolf sealed the three-point win with a second-chance basket with 8 seconds left on the clock.

Ehrlich and Richmond led Marion with nine points apiece. Grif Case draws a foul on Bennington?s BJ Glanton in the second quarter Friday night. Case contributed 10 points in Marion?s 46-37 win over the Bulldogs.

BOYS?The Warriors brought some intensity back to their game Friday at Bennington and won, 46-37, in the end.

James Jones scored six of Marion?s 12 first-quarter points, and Marion enjoyed a 12-5 lead at the first break.

Bret Voth extended Marion?s lead to nine with a basket, and Zach Robson gave the Warriors a double-digit, 19-9, advantage with a three-pointer at the 5:01 mark. Marion continued to build its lead and enjoyed a 31-13 halftime advantage following a Robson steal and basket to close the half.

The Warriors? largest lead of the night was 34-15 when Taylor Heidebrecht cashed in a three-point play with 6:26 left in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs used a 9-0 run after that to draw within 34-24. The third quarter ended with Marion in front, 37-24.

Bennington outscored Marion 7-3 in the first 4:44 to draw within nine and narrowed the gap to 42-35 with 1:22 to play. The Warriors missed a few opportunities to score from the charity stripe but maintained possession after grabbing rebounds. Heidebrecht cashed in four free throws in the final 35 seconds, and Marion claimed the nine-point victory.

Robson led Marion with 12 points. Grif Case added 10.

COMING?Marion will host Berean Academy Tuesday.

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