The Marion High School basketball teams entered the winter break on slightly different notes. The girls team rolled to a 57-46 victory on the strength of a 10-4 second quarter run powered by two significant baskets: one was a putback by Whitney Gordon capping off a series of four straight Marion offensive rebounds; the other was a triple by Kayley Heerey. Combined with two foul shots made by Heerey, the baskets allowed the Warriors to stretch their lead to 26-13. It reached 37-19 on Heerey’s free throws in the third quarter. Heerey finished with 15 points. Lindsay Hett led Marion with 18, and Julia Zeiner scored 10.
In the boys game, Moundridge outscored Marion 17-7 at the foul line and came away with a 55-46 victory. Wil Case and Eric Vogel carried the scoring load for the Warriors. Case hit three 3-pointers and totaled 17 points in the game, but the Wildcats, led by Trey Unrau (29 points) and Austin Neufeld (17 points) were simply too much for Marion’s defense. Vogel fouled out with 1:47 to go. When he was in the game, Marion more than hung in against the Wildcats. After a quiet first quarter, the Warriors unleashed a 19-point second period for a 24-18 halftime lead and carried a 3-point advantage into the fourth.
Moundridge took a 40-39 lead early in the fourth, and Neufeld cemented with a spectacular play: swarmed by three Warriors underneath the Wildcats goal, he somehow ripped away the offensive rebound and scored over the crowd of defenders, drawing a foul in the process and converting the 3-point play. It was a backbreaker at the end of a 10-2 run, and put the Wildcats ahead by five. Marion missed a handful of shots down the stretch, but the Wildcats maximized their possessions as part of an 11-for-16 shooting effort in the second half. They made three of five 3-pointers after intermission, having connected on just one of eight in the first half.
The Warriors return to action Jan. 5 against Ellinwood, will visit Lyons Jan. 8 and will travel to Haven Jan. 12.