Marion girls tip Lyons after sluggish start


After a slow start, the Marion High School girls basketball team carried the day at Lyons, 56-45. An equally slow start sent the Warrior boys to a 52-61 loss.

 Apart from an efficient double-double from Luke Gordon and a 17-point night from Calvin Jeffrey, bright spots for the boys team were hard to come by. Marion trailed 3-0 on 14 seconds into the game, when Brett Bieberle knocked down a 3-pointer on the back end of an inside-outside 2-man passing game with Luke Knight .  Gordon threw in Marion's first basket to trim the shortfall to 3-2. Knight scored off Bieberle's assist on Lyons' next trip, and Eric Vogel made it 5-4 on Marion's possession. 

Brennan Clark hit a 3-point shot set up by senior forward Casey Dwyer, and the Warriors were unable to answer in kind until Jeffrey trimmed it to 12-9 with a 3-point bomb 20-plus feet from the hoop on left wing with 2:51 left in the first. Lyons outscored the Warrior 8-5 heading into the second, and began to pull away in the first half of the frame.

The Lion lead reached 28-16 with 3:47 to go, but Marion began to rally from that point. A 31-23 halftime deficit proved too much to overcome, but the Warriors made it interesting during the fourth quarter, putting together a 10-3 run that sliced the disadvantage down to four at 52-48 with 4:00 to go. Isaac Hett scored off a pass from Mitchell Leppke, and got the second in a series of back-to-back blocked shots set off when Gordon swatted Darren Allison's only field goal attempt of the night.

But the defensive stand did not spawn points at the offensive end, and back-to-back layups by Knight set the stage for Lyons to add to their lead at the foul line during the game's final stage.

 The girls started even slower, and the very young and very aggressive Lions made them pay for their sluggishness. Consecutive makes out of the gate put Marion in a 5-0 hole that multiplied to 14-3 during the first 4:51. The Warriors outscored Lyons 6-3 in the rest of the frame, but tumbled to a 28-19 deficit with 2:41 to play in the half.

Then Kayley Heerey caught fire, knocking down three free throws during a 5-0 Warrior run that made it 28-24 going into the break. Lyons was unable to match Marion in the second half, and Julia Zeiner tied it at 30-up with a putback 3:27 into the third. Michelle Burrola hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc on Lyons' next trip, but Marion took the lead for good on a breakaway layup by Heerey a moment later.  Zeiner cemented that lead when she capped off a fast break with a pullup jumper along the baseline, forcing a Lyons time out at the 1:53 mark.

Lyons closed to 41-39 on a long 2-pointer by Meg Kepka, but Zeiner restored the lead and sent Kepka to the sideline with four fouls on Marion's subsequent trip. Then Heerey hit a triple on the right wing side of the perimeter with 4:49 to go in the game, and the Warriors wrapped up the win without further incident.

Heerey and Zeiner each scored 19 points. Burrola and Anna Nusser led Lyons with 11 points, and 10, respectively. 


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