No. 2 seed Republic Co. tackles Marion

The Marion High School boys basketball team gave the Republic County Buffaloes everything they could handle for two quarters, but ultimately lost its first round game 59-46 on the second night of the Trojan Classic in Hillsboro.

Republic put four players in double-digits, and, despite 22 points from Elliot Hett, Marion simply could not match that pace. Republic entered the third quarter with a 1-point lead and ran off a 15-6 stretch to relegate the Warriors to the 4:45 p.m. game Thursday night.

It was immediately apparent that Republic intended to play methodically, as suffocating defense and precise offense set the tone after the opening tip. Marion trailed 8-4, but caught a spark from Hett and Eric Vogel, who notched back-to-back baskets to tie the game midway through the period. With 2:51 left in the first, Brian Fruechting tallied two free throws, and the Warriors led 10-8. Luke Gordon made it 12-10 with a baseline jumper, but the Buffaloes scored three straight points to retake the lead.

They opened it up to 23-16 early in the second quarter, but Marion rallied behind Hett, who scored nine points in the period. A bucket by Vogel made it 26-25 at halftime.

That was the last Marion saw of Republic, as the Buffaloes scored 10 straight points to open the third.

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