The Marion girls could not seem to buy a basket in a 44-34 loss to Southeast of Saline Friday in a Class 3A sub-state semifinal game at Halstead.
Baskets were hard to come by for both teams early on, but especially for Marion, who seemed to have a lid on its basket. Kourtney Hansen scored the game?s first field goal, but then Marion missed its next nine attempts, many of which were attempts in the paint. SES went 3-for-12 in the first quarter to stake a 9-2 lead by the end of it.
The Warriors narrowed the gap when Kourtney Hansen made a pair of free-throws and Erika Hess grabbed a steal and scored for a 9-6 margin. SES built it back to nine, thanks largely to the efforts of Erica Montgomery, who scored seven of her game-high 23 points in the second quarter.
Kirsten Hansen nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer?the first of three for her on the night?bringing Marion within 19-13 at halftime.
SES used a 6-0 run to build a double-digit lead after the break and built it even more with two treys and a two-pointer in about a minute?s time, making it 33-17 at the 2:38 mark. Kristen Herzet closed scoring for the period with a basket, making it 33-19 heading into the final break.
Erika Hess scored to start the fourth quarter before SES increased its lead to 37-21. Kourtney Hansen made two free-throws, then Kirsten Hansen drained a three-pointer. Bailey Robson followed a SES traditional three-point play with a three-pointer, and Marion began to heat up. Hess scored off a steal, and by the time Kirsten Hansen made her third trey, Marion was within 42-34 with 1:07 to play, having outscored the Trojans 13-5 in a 3:20 span.
But Marion found itself in a hole too deep from which to climb, and the Trojans made two free throws in the final minute to seal their 10-point win.
Kourtney Hansen led the Warriors with 12 points. Kirsten Hansen added 11.
The defeat ended Marion?s season as it began?with a loss at the hands of Southeast of Saline. Sandwiched in between those two losses, however, the Warriors won 16 games, even enjoying an eight-game win streak through much of January. Marion added just four more defeats to their loss column and finished the season with an overall record of 16-6.
For seven seniors, it was their final appearance in a Marion basketball uniform: Marshelle Conley, Kirsten Hansen, Kristen Herzet, Erika Hess, Elizabeth Meyer, McKenzee Remmers and Bailey Robson.