Marion sweeps Rural Vista to conclude Cougar Classic

Marion swept Rural Vista in its final games of the Cougar Classic Saturday. The girls won, 49-42. The boys won, 62-53.

Girls—The Marion girls’ basketball team won the Cougar Classic tournament Saturday with a 49-42 victory over Rural Vista.

But the Warriors endured a slow start offensively, allowing the Heat to claim an early lead. When Marion made just one basket in the final 4:00 of the first quarter, Rural Vista enjoyed its largest lead of the night, 15-8, at the first break.

Marion scored the first five points of the second quarter, courtesy of Alli Molleker, Jessi Lewman and Kourtney Hansen, but the Warriors continued to trail.

The Heat, meanwhile, were carried by Lauren Campuzano, who scored seven of her team’s nine points in the quarter, on her way to a game-high 22.

Hansen scored off a steal with six seconds to play, closing the gap to 24-21 at halftime.

Marion outscored the Heat, 9-6 in the first 3:17 after halftime, including back-to-back baskets by Courtney Herzet that tied the game at 30.

The Warrior defense clamped down, forcing turnovers on Rural Vista’s final five possessions of the third quarter, and Marion ended the period on a 9-0 run to lead, 39-32.

Marion took its first double-digit lead when Jessi Lewman made a free throw, and then a basket 39 seconds later for a 42-32 margin. The Warriors enjoyed their largest lead of the night, 46-35, when Corrina Crabb scored with 3:23 to play. The Heat trimmed that margin to five, 47-42, but Herzet nailed a pair of free-throws to lock down the seven-point win.

Hansen led the Warriors with 16 points.

Boys—The Marion boys’ basketball team finished third in the Cougar Classic tournament Saturday with a 62-53 victory over Rural Vista.

Marion led a majority of the first quarter, propelled by Zachary Stuchlik, who scored 10 points in the quarter, including eight of Marion’s first 10 points. At the end of the period, Marion led, 16-13.

Rural Vista claimed the lead in the second quarter with the help of a pair of three-pointers from Dawson Worrell. Chase Stringer scored eight of Marion’s 10 points in the quarter. Marion trailed, 27-26, at halftime.

A 6-2 run by the Heat to start the third quarter gave Rural Vista its largest lead of the night, 33-28. Rural Vista led by that same margin, 37-32, with 3:54 to play, then Stuchlik scored five points in succession to tie the game. The third quarter ended in a tie, 42-42.

Marion scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, led by Sam Zinn with nine, including the game’s final five points. Evann Heidebrecht aided the effort by scoring seven points. Rural Vista made its final basket with 2:16 to play. The Warriors were 12-for-14 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, helping to secure the nine-point win.

Stuchlik led all scorers with 17 points. Stringer and Zinn each scored 12.

Coming—Marion will host Council Grove Thursday.