Sluggish play and poor defense contributed to Marion?s defeat, 32-26, at the hands of the Hope Lions today in the first round of the Centre Tourney.
?If we played like we had Friday, we would have won by 15 points,? said coach Randy Savage. ?This performance is unacceptable.?
The game started off pretty cold for both teams as they traded the lead multiple times, but scored relatively few points. With a little under five minutes left in the half, the score was only 11-10 with Hope momentarily ahead.
Hope stirred things up a bit with a long three-point shot with 1:10 left in the half, but Whitney Gordon of the Warriors made a retry shot under the basket with 45 seconds left to tie the game, 14-14, as both teams headed into the locker room.
The Lions? Shelbie Sizemore scored first in the second half, bringing the score to 16-14 before Gordon tied the game again with 6:44 left before the break. Abi Dillon sank another basket to put Hope on top again, 18-16, with 5:29 left in the half.
Gordan made two free throws with 1:42 left before the break to draw the Warriors within two points, 20-18. However, an eight-point Lions scoring run, ending with 7:14 left in the game, put the Lions on top 27-18. Gordon tried to help out the Warriors by sinking two free throws with 5:06 left and then dropping in two baskets under a minute later to cut the Lions? lead to only three points, 27-24.
Raelyn Lorson responded for the Lions, making the shot to give the Lions a five-point lead and then sinking both free throws with 2:47 left in the game. Gordon scored again on a retry, making the score 30-26, and then Jaycelyn Barter sank two free throws to make the final score for the game 32-26.
The Warriors definitely seemed to lack the intensity they played with last Friday night in their tough battle with Hutch Trinity. In addition, the Warriors? Gordon had only 17 points for the game, in comparison to the 20 points she had racked up by halftime last Friday. None of Gordon?s points for today?s game were from three-point shots, with which she made such a strong statement in Friday?s game.
?We didn?t play any defense well,? coach Savage said. ?We weren?t getting to where we needed to be?we can?t play like that.?
He reiterated that the Warriors? lack of intensity was also a factor.
Gordon was in the double digits for the Warriors at 17 points. The Lions had two players in the double digits, with Lorson and Dillon both finishing with 10 points for the game.
The Warriors will play their next game in the tournament this Friday.