According to the Marion boys’ basketball coach Jeff McMillin, the extra ingredient that gave the Warriors a decided 69-37 victory tonight over Eureka for the Marion Classic championship can be summed up in one word: effort. That effort propels Marion to 4-0 this season heading into a road match-up with Canton-Galva Friday.
The Marion girl’s basketball team earned its first win in the consolation bracket this afternoon over Belle Plaine, 46-39, to take fifth place and improve to 1-3. They will also travel to Canton-Galva Friday.
Boys – Marion blazed out the first quarter, outscoring Eureka a scorching 25-7. The Tornadoes recovered a bit in the second period, scoring 13 points, but Marion still outscored them to claim a 42-20 lead at the half.
If Eureka hoped to rebound in the second half, it was quickly disappointed as the Warriors set a blistering pace coming out of the locker room. Marion scored 24 points to the Tornadoes’ eight points in the third quarter and gained its biggest lead of the game (38 points), 62-24. The Warriors nursed a 65-28 lead at the end of the third period.
The reserves held strong in the final period, allowing the Tornadoes just nine points, for Marion’s 69-37 victory.
Marion received stellar nights from both its top scorers, with Jacob Harper and Jordan Hett racking up 24 and 23 points, respectively. Zac Robson added nine points. Harper also led on the boards with seven and Robson chipped in five.
The Warriors shot near 53 percent from the field and 46 percent from three-point range, knocking down 11 of 15 free throws for a 73 percent average. They had 20 points off turnovers to Eureka’s six, and beat the Tornadoes on the boards, 34-28. They also had 18 points from three-point range.
Girls – In a back-and-forth first period, Marion and Belle Plaine swapped leads nearly every possession. But the Warriors came out on top, 9-8, thanks to a last-second bucket from Erika Herzet to end the first quarter.
The Dragons took back the lead with a three-pointer to start the second period, but Marion strung together a six-point run to take a 15-11 lead at 5:33. With 36 seconds remaining, Belle Plaine would score to tie it, 19-19, going into the break.
Marion fought a neck-and-neck battle with the Dragons in the third quarter, with Megan Richmond’s basket at the 18-second mark narrowing the Belle Plaine lead to 31-30 at the end of the period.
Katey Ehrlich scored on a steal to start the fourth quarter and give Marion the lead, and the Warriors slowly drew away to outscore Belle Plaine, 16-8, in the final period. Richmond helped seal the deal with a three-pointer and a three-point play with the foul shot as the clock wound down. Marion took the win, 46-39.
Two Warriors made double digits, with Ehrlich scoring 13 and Richmond adding 11 points, including two three-pointers. Erin Meierhoff added nine points. Richmond led on defense with six rebounds, helped by five each from Ehrlich and Meierhoff. Meierhoff earned four steals and five assists for the Warriors.