MHS girls win Marion Classic; boys place second by a hair

The Marion High School girls basketball team defeated Berean Academy by the mildly surprising score of 51-48. For most of the first half, it looked like Marion would win in a walk?MHS opened up a 21-2 lead when Janelle Rust left the game with an injury. Instead of folding like a steel chair, Berean hit Marion from behind with an 18-4 run that led to a 34-34 tie early in the third quarter. But key baskets by Whitney Gordon and Kristen Steinborn blunted the worst of it before Julia Zeiner and Lindsay Hett put MHS back in control. Marion led 44-36 through three quarters, but Berean used an 8-2 run to close back within striking distance midway through the fourth. But on what turned out to be the decisive possession, Marion controlled the ball and drained the clock from about 2:30 down to 1:34 before Berean was forced to foul. With a foul to give, Rust hacked Zeiner and, after Marion inbounded to Hett, Whitney Gordon went to the line for the first set of 1-and-1 free throws. Gordon hit the first, and Zeiner practically ended the game by rebounding the miss of the second. Trailing by five with 28 seconds remaining, Berean managed only one more basket. Over the course of the contest but primarily during the first half, Marion created 17 more shot attempts than Berean. Gordon did most of that damage, scoring 16 points off of 11 offensive rebounds with 14 total boards and just two turnovers. Zeiner and Mallory Zuercher tied for the game-high, with 17 points apiece. Hett finished with 14, and Rust totaled 12 in 20 minutes of action.

The MHS boys put a scare into Berean, which fumbled a 28-16 halftime lead and allowed a 37-37 tie with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Wil Case made the tying field goal?his third 3-pointer from the right wing sweet spot?but Marion was out of gas. Eric Vogel led all scorers and rebounders with a 17-10 double-double and Isaac Hett scored 10 points, but nothing came easily on Saturday night. Not that Marion was without chances down the stretch, but that no shot typified the night better than Hett’s 2-point try that rattled three times before bouncing out of the basket late in the game. Lonnie Penner led Berean with 16 points?two of which were the capstone free throws in the final minute.

In the boys third place game, Jacob Simmonds led Peabody-Burns to a 59-28 victory over Remington?scoring 29 points and all but nullifying Broncos heavy hitter Jake Green, who came into Saturday’s finale with 48 points over the previous two games. Simmonds dominated scoring in the first half, totaling 10 points in barely three minutes and rattling off 23 before the break. Green never got rolling, as Simmonds in one sequence blocked his long jump shot; Green got it back, but Simmonds forced him into putting up an airball. Brian O’Neal finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for PBHS. Tanner Claassen and Green each scored eight, but Remington committed 20 turnovers and shot under 29 percent?and just 1-for-12 from 3-point range. Peabody-Burns hit seven of 12 from the arc.

Coming?Marion hosts Hesston Tuesday and visits Moundridge Friday before breaking for the holidays. Peabody-Burns visits Burrton Tuesday and travels to Wichita Home School Dec. 21.

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