Marion kicks off 2017 with sweep of Ell-Saline

Marion kicked off the New Year and Heart of America league play by sweeping Ell-Saline Friday.

Taelyn PagelGirls—Marion never trailed en route to a 48-30 victory over Ell-Saline Friday.

Marissa Jacobson scored six of Marion’s 11 first-quarter points, including the first four points of the game to give the Warriors the early lead. Marion led, 11-5, at the end of the period.

The Warriors built their lead to double digits, 18-7, after Alli Molleker converted a three-point play and Kourtney Hansen scored twice off back-to-back turnovers. But an 8-1 Cardinal run put Ell-Saline within 19-15 with 1:56 left in the half. Taelyn Pagel capped a 7-0 run with a three-pointer, but Ell-Saline responded with a three of its own, narrowing the gap to 26-18 at halftime.

Hansen and Sam Richmond scored back-to-back baskets off turnovers to open the third quarter, and Marion maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Hansen scored six of Marion’s 10 points in the period, and Marion took a 36-25 lead into the final break.

The Warriors continued to build their lead in the fourth quarter, building to the final, 18-point spread.

Hansen led all scorers with 15 points. Richmond added nine.

Blaine MermisBoys—Marion held on down the stretch to earn a 56-54 victory Friday.

The Warriors battled the Cardinals evenly through the first quarter, which ended in a 14-14 tie. Mason Pedersen scored six of his team-high 12 points in the period.

The lead changed hands multiple times in the second quarter. A four-point swing courtesy of Blaine Mermis turned a 22-20 Warrior deficit into a 24-22 lead, and the Warriors maintained the advantage at halftime, 25-24.

The teams traded baskets to start the third quarter, then Marion missed its next five attempts from the field. The Warrior scoring drought lasted 4:14, allowing the Cardinals to claim the lead, 32-29. Mermis broke the drought at the 2:52 mark, but then Ell-Saline built a 39-33 lead. Evann Heidebrecht scored on a traditional three-point play and Pedersen scored off a steal to close the gap to one by the end of the period, 39-38.

Marion regained the lead, 46-44, when Nathan Baldwin scored with 5:20 to play, and the teams traded baskets. When the Warriors struggled to secure defensive rebounds, the Cardinals took the lead with a third-chance basket with 1:25 to play, 54-53. Peyton Heidebrecht put Marion back in front with a basket, and Mermis later was fouled and made one of two charity shots, bringing it to what became the final margin. Ell-Saline attempted a three-pointer after that, but the shot missed its mark and Marion secured the rebound and went on to win.

Pedersen led the team in scoring with 12 points. Mermis added 11, and Zachary Stuchlik 10.

Coming—Marion will host Remington Tuesday.

For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13

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