The Marion basketball teams wrapped up tournament play in the Cougar Classic Saturday. The Warrior girls fell to No. 1 Centre in the championship, 50-36. The Warrior boys finished third overall with a win over No. 3 Manhattan Flinthills, 62-60.
GIRLS?Marion kept pace with Centre at the start of Saturday?s championship game, but in the end, the Cougars lived up to their No. 1 seed by earning the victory, 50-36.
Makenzie Deines opened scoring with a basket 11 seconds in, and Kelli Hess answered with a tying basket just 10 seconds later. The teams battled back and forth until the Cougars gained some distance when Shelby Makovec followed a Cacey Simons basket with two free throws for a 12-7 Centre lead. Bailey Robson scored to close the gap to 12-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Katey Ehrlich tied the game with a three-pointer, but Centre surged 8-0 to lead 20-12 after Simons hit a three. Marion cut the lead to 20-16 when Julia Hall made a basket, but after a Shelby Makovec basket and free throw from Simons, Centre took a 23-16 lead into intermission.
The Cougars used back-to-back three pointers from Shelby Makovec and Amy Makovec to build a double-digit, 29-17, advantage. Megan Richmond answered with a three that brought Marion within 29-20 at the 5:37 mark. Centre extended its lead back to double-figures just over a minute later and maintained it the duration of the third quarter to lead, 36-22, going into the final break.
Centre surged to its largest lead of the night, 42-23, when Simons scored with 6:26 left in the game, but when Robson followed two Ehrlich free throws with a basket, Marion cut the lead to 42-27.
The Warriors began to turn up their defensive intensity and outscored Centre, 6-3, over the next three minutes, courtesy of three consecutive baskets by Robson to narrow the gap to 45-33 with 2:35 to play.
Although Marion continued to battle, Centre?s lead was too much to overcome. The Cougars made five of eight free throws in the final 2:13 to seal the 14-point win.
Robson led Marion with 10 points.
Ehrlich, Shelby Makovec and Simons were named to the all-tournament team.
BOYS? Marion led the first 3:06 of Saturday?s battle against Manhattan Flinthills before the Eagles tied the game and surged to lead by as many as 13 points. But the Warriors came back to win the game, 62-60, and claim third place in the tournament.
Marion jumped to a 7-2 lead after Timothy Knolla drained a three-pointer at 5:11, but the Eagles answered with a 12-0 surge before Grif Case made a basket to bring Marion within 14-9 with 48 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The quarter ended after a Flinthills dunk off a steal for an 18-9 Eagle lead.
Flinthills built their lead to a game-high 13 points, 22-9, to start the second quarter. Marion got back in the game with seven straight points when Case followed baskets by James Jones and Zach Robson with a three-pointer to bring Marion within 22-16. A Knolla three-pointer cut the Eagle lead to 24-19 with 3:49 left in the half.
Flinthills extended its lead to 30-19 before Robson and Taylor Heidebrecht combined for the final seven points of the half to narrow the gap to 30-26 at intermission.
Heidebrecht drained a three-pointer to start the third quarter to cut the Eagle lead to 30-29, but Flinthills twice extended its lead to five points, the second time after a three-pointer at 2:41 for a 38-33 advantage.
Knolla answered with a three-pointer 20 seconds later, and after a Marion timeout, Robson fired off back-to-back threes to give Marion a 42-38 lead by the end of the third quarter.
That was the spark the Marion offense needed, and Robson scored 15 of Marion?s 20 fourth-quarter points on his way to a team-high 29 points for the game.
The teams traded scores to open the fourth quarter until Heidebrecht scored two free throws after a Jacob Baldwin steal to boost Marion to a six-point, 50-44, lead. The Eagles cut that lead in half with a three-pointer, but Robson followed a Baldwin free throw with a basket for a 53-47 score with 3:52 left in the game.
The Eagles drained another three, but Robson answered with a three-pointer of his own 30 seconds later. Yet again, the Eagles made a three-pointer, but Robson answered with a basket that put Marion in front, 58-53, with 2:09 to go. Flinthills made a basket at the 1:51 mark to draw within three, 58-55, and neither team scored again until Robson drained two free throws with 17.5 seconds left to increase Marion?s lead to 60-55.
The Eagles made a basket with 10 seconds left and again sent Robson to the charity stripe, where two free throws extended Marion?s lead to 62-57 with 6.4 to play. Flinthills made one last three-pointer with 2 seconds left for the final, 62-60, score.
Robson led Marion with 29 points. Knolla added 13 and Heidebrecht 12.
Heidebrecht was named to the all-tournament team.
COMING?Marion will host Council Grove for homecoming Thursday.