The Marion basketball teams split their first games of the Cougar Classic Tuesday. The girls defeated Peabody-Burns, 58-22, while the boys lost to Elyria Christian, 61-58.
Girls—Top-seeded Marion led from start to finish in its 58-22 win over No. 8 Peabody-Burns Tuesday.
Marion took a 12-0 lead out of the gate when Peabody-Burns missed its first three attempts from the field and turned the ball over a handful of times.
Kallie Hutchison scored Peabody-Burns’ first basket at the 2:38 mark and scored again a minute later. By the end of the period, Marion led, 14-4.
Marion outscored Peabody-Burns, 19-2 in the second quarter. Jessi Lewman led the charge by scoring all six of her points for the game in a 1:26 span.
Anna Lubbers broke Peabody-Burns’ scoring drought with a basket at the 1:50 mark. Marion enjoyed a 33-6 lead at halftime.
Marion opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run, then Peabody-Burns ended the quarter with a 9-6 burst. Mallory Harris scored four points in that stretch to pave the way. By the end of the period, Marion led, 45-15.
Marion increased its lead to 55-15, then Lubbers scored the next five points for Peabody-Burns. Corrina Crabb made a three-pointer, then Hutchison scored, bringing it to the final margin.
Hansen led all scorers with 16 points. Lubbers led Peabody-Burns with 10 points.
Boys—In a game of two halves as different as night and day, fourth-seeded Marion rallied to within 61-58 of fifth-seeded Elyria Christian by the final buzzer but couldn’t quite recover from an 18-point first-half effort.
Marion made just five of 22 field goals attempted in the first half, four of which came in the first quarter. Zachary Stuchlik scored Marion’s first five points, then Nathan Baldwin scored the Warriors’ next seven. The first quarter ended with Elyria in front, 15-12.
Things went downhill quickly, as Marion made just one field goal in the second quarter—a two-pointer by Stuchlik at the 3:04 mark—and added four points at the charity stripe. The Eagles, meanwhile, scored 18 points, boosted by a 10-point quarter by Aidan Fields. That led to a 33-18 halftime deficit for Marion.
The Warriors made a small dent in Elyria’s lead in the third quarter by outscoring the Eagles, 16-13. Stuchlik made a three-pointer at the buzzer to bring Marion within 46-34 at the final break.
Marion turned up the intensity in the fourth quarter, scoring more points than in the first half. The Warriors went on a 9-1 run to start the period. Blaine Mermis scored a basket 29 seconds in, then Stuchlik made two free-throws. Sam Zinn scored on a traditional three-point play to bring Marion’s crowd to its feet, then Noah Dalrymple scored to bring Marion within 47-43 with 5:52 to play.
The Warriors missed some opportunities after that, allowing Elyria to regain a double-digit lead, 55-45, with 2:24 to play. Evann Heidebrecht later scored twice in a 22-second span to trim the deficit to six, but the Warriors could not make up the difference. Mermis made a three-pointer with 4 seconds left to bring the Warriors within three at the end.
Three Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stuchlik with 17 points, Baldwin 15 and Mermis 10.
Coming—Marion will next be in action Friday. The girls will play Rural Vista at 4 p.m. The boys will play Herington at 5:30 p.m.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13