Marion met defeat on their home hardwood tonight, getting swept by league opponent Sedgwick. The boys lost by 25 points, 61-36, and the girls lost by 15 points, 45-30. The Warriors will look for victories in make-up games Thursday with Canton-Galva, before traveling to Ell-Saline Friday for their last regular-season games.
The Marion boys had a strong first half of basketball, with Jacob Harper starting off the night with a long three-pointer and the Warriors battling back and forth with the Cardinals throughout the first and second quarters.
Marion scored 10 points in the first quarter, just four points less than Sedgwick, and actually outscored the Cardinals by two in the second quarter, scoring 12 points.
A three-point basket by Sedgwick gave them a four-point lead, 24-20, with just over a minute left in the half, but Dane Purkeypile put one up to cut their lead to only two points, 24-22, as the Warriors went into the locker room.
The second half started well for the Warriors, with Jordan Hett tying the game right away and capping a back-and-forth battle with a three-pointer to put the Warriors ahead, 27-26.
Then everything crumbled, with just under six minutes left before the break. Marion hit a score-less draught, while Sedgwick exploded in a 16-point scoring run that extended through the break and into the fourth quarter. At the end of the run, the Cardinals led by 17 points, 44-27.
A basket from Purkeypile finally snapped the streak, but the Cardinals continued to build their lead. Warriors senior Jordan Versch fouled out with 5:25 left in the game, after sitting out a good portion due to foul trouble, and as the clock wound down the Warriors still struggled to put points on the board against a big, physical Sedgwick team.
The Cardinals took their biggest lead of the game, 59-34, with two minutes left. The 25-point lead ended up being their margin of victory as well. Sedgwick out-rebounded Marion by 15, 38-23.
?We lost in the worst possible way for me to lose,? said coach Jeff McMillin. ?They played harder than us.?
He said Sedgwick had been aggressive the whole first half and stayed aggressive, and the Warriors did not.
?They gave us a physical challenge, they were pressing us and we didn?t match it,? he said. ?We weren?t into it, we weren?t focused on the game.?
Jordan Hett was the only Warriors? player in double digits, with 14 points. Logan Thompson and Levi Vogt co-led Sedgwick in scoring with 14 each, and Elliot Money contributed 13 points.
The Sedgwick girls started off the game well, taking advantage of sluggish, tentative play by the Warriors to build a substantial lead.
The Warriors rallied a bit just before halftime, holding the Cardinals at 22 points while Marion put five points on the board. However, Sedgwick still boasted a 22-12 lead going into halftime.
Play heated up a bit in the first part of the second half. Whitney Gordon hit a three-pointer to make the score 24-17, with the Cardinals leading, and Sedgwick responded with a long three-point shot. The Warriors? Katey Ehrlich followed the trend with another three to bring Marion back within seven points, 27-20.
Sedgwick increased their lead again after the break, holding the Warriors at 22 points while the Cardinals put seven on the board, and Marion did not again threaten. Gordon fouled out with 48 seconds left on the clock.
For the second game in a row, Gordon did not make her usual double digits in scoring. Erin Meierhoff led the Warriors with nine points, with Gordon contributing six. Jami Douvier led the Cardinals in scoring with 11 points.
Not taking care of the ball hurt Marion, with the Cardinals scoring 21 points off turnovers.
?We played well in the zone,? said coach Randy Savage. ?We can press better than that, but the play in the zone wasn?t bad. The turnovers just killed us. Thirty-one turnovers.?
He said Sedgwick plays well and with a lot of size up front, mentioning Sandra and Jami Douvier, who are both at six feet tall.
?You have a lot of size running the press against you on the half court,? he said. ?We?ve just got to get to the point where you understand, once you reverse them, you?ve got to attack them quickly.?
Savage said Sedgwick is the only team they play where size is such a factor.
?What do you do when you?re five-foot-five and you?ve got six-footers guarding you,? he said. ?You?ve just got to attack them quickly, and we?ll keep working on that.?