It was a battle of the Warriors Friday night, with Marion traveling on the road to face the Warriors of Berean Academy. The Marion girls fell 42-26, while the boys defeated the home team 36-20.
GIRLS – Facing a tough Berean defense, Marion struggled to put points on the board in the opening quarter of Friday’s game. Thanks to good defensive pressure, the home team surged to a 7-0 lead off a steal at the 2:33 mark. Marion’s first points came with under one minute remaining in the opening quarter when Katey Ehrlich cashed in on a traditional three-point play for a 7-3 Berean advantage at the end of one.
The Berean defense continued to pressure Marion in the second period. Erin Meierhoff hit a basket at 7:23, and Ehrlich scored at the free throw line, but the home team surged 10-0 for a 23-6 advantage with less than a minute to go before intermission. Ericka Herzet scored with 37 seconds remaining for a 23-8 halftime score.
Berean made a switch to zone defense to open the third quarter, and Meierhoff and Kelli Hess each drained a three-point basket in the first two minutes to narrow Berean’s lead to 25-14 at 6:08. Marion continued to fight on defense. Offensively, Kirsten Hansen contributed five points for Marion, and Ehrlich added two, but Berean held a 33-21 advantage going into the final quarter.
Kaelyn Thierolf opened the fourth period with a basket that narrowed the Berean lead to 10, and Hansen added two off a steal at 4:37 to again bring Marion within 10, 35-25. Berean, however, capitalized on steals and surged 5-0 for a 40-25 lead with 2:55 left in the game. Balee Shiplet scored from the free throw line at 1:13 but Berean ended with the 16-point lead.
Hansen led Marion with seven total points.
BOYS – Red-hot defense led the Marion Warriors to a 36-20 victory at Berean Friday night. Marion held the home team to one point in the opening quarter and burst to a 9-1 lead by the end of the first period, but it was a slow start for both teams. Marion got on the board with a Taylor Heidebrecht free throw at 5:11, and the game’s first field goal came five minutes into the period when Jacob Harper scored off a steal. Berean scored its only point of the quarter from the charity stipe 18 seconds later. Another Harper score, followed by two baskets from Jordan Hett gave Marion the eight-point lead going into the second quarter.
Marion took a double-digit, 11-1, lead at 6:33 on a basket by Hett, who followed with a second field goal at the 4:43 mark for a 13-3 Marion lead. Wiley Lundy added two from the charity stripe with two minutes left before half, and Berean scored with 6 seconds on the clock for a 15-7 Marion lead at intermission.
Marion outscored Berean 8-4 in the third quarter, with both offenses having difficulty getting shots to fall. Harper scored on a three-point play at the 4:45 mark, and Lundy and Austin Pedersen hit back-to-back baskets to aid Marion, who boasted a 23-11 lead going into the final period.
Ethan Hett opened the fourth quarter with a basket behind the arc at 6:26 and followed with a free throw 30 seconds later. Marion later surged 8-0 courtesy of stifling defense to take its largest lead of the night, 35-13, with 2:59 left to play. Pedersen scored from the charity stripe with 36 seconds left, and Marion earned the 16-point victory.
Harper led the Marion attack with 11 points, followed by Hett with 10.