Warriors fall to Berean in overtime; Marion girls lose, 47-27

The Marion boys lost by just four points to Berean Academy tonight, 41-37, after leading most of the game and losing a defensive battle in the final minutes of overtime. The girls trailed much of the game and fell by a 20-point margin, 47-27. But the same ailment killed them both – the inability to nab rebounds, especially offensive rebounds.

Berean out-rebounded Marion by a combined 86-49 margin. The Marion boys were out-rebounded, 27-19, and had just one offensive rebound to Berean’s 14. The Berean girls had 59 rebounds to Marion’s 30 and topped them, 35-8, on offensive rebounds. The Berean boys had 11 second-chance points and the girls had 19 second-chance points.

Turnovers were also a key factor, as the Marion Warriors lost the ball at crucial moments and were beat in the turnover battle with a combined 51 turnovers to Berean’s 32. 

But the Marion boys almost escaped with a win despite their struggles on the boards. The Warrior boys and girls are scheduled to play Eureka tomorrow night (Thursday) in the second round of pool play for the Warrior Classic. 

Boys – 

After a hot first quarter, during which the Marion boys out-scored Berean, 10-5, it looked like the Marion Warriors would repeat their smackdown success of last week. But the Berean Warriors would not go away and Marion mistakes at key times let the ball game slip through their fingers.

A strong defensive effort for both teams left the game scoreless for the first three minutes of play. Berean scored five minutes in, and Jacob Harper would finally hit two free throws to put points on the board for Marion at 4:50. The points sparked a three-point shot each from Ethan Hett and Zac Robson and a scrambling basket from Scott Jones off a Jordan Hett assist, putting Marion up 10-3 with 1:44 left in the quarter. Berean scored on the buzzer to make it 10-5. 

Both teams scored eight points in the second quarter, battling it out defensively and pounding away at the rim. Harper again provided points for the Marion Warriors, putting up four. Robson sank another three-pointer to add to the mix, helping Marion keep an 18-13 lead at the break.

Marion has traditionally struggled with third-quarter play, and tonight was no exception. Harper made two more hard-fought baskets and senior Mikael Antoszyk hit a three-pointer to add to the mix, but Berean still outscored Marion by four points, 11-7. The Marion Warrior scoring slump left them clinging to a one-point, 25-24 lead at the close of the third quarter.

Marion needed to rebound, literally and figuratively, and their go-to guy, Harper, did it again. He and Taylor Heidebrecht teamed up for back-to-back basket to put Marion on top, 29-24. But Berean sank a three-pointer to put them within two points, 29-27, and just two and a half minutes later Berean tied the game up for the first time, 31-31. 

Harper scored with 2:07 remaining to put Marion back up on top, but Berean tied it up again, 33-33, with 1:17 left. In perhaps one of the most pivotal moments of the game, Marion turned over the ball – and their chance to score and put the game away – with just 50 seconds remaining. But Berean missed their shot and Harper snagged the rebound to send the game into overtime.

Berean went up by four, 37-34, with back-to-back scores with 3:20 and 2:38 left on the clock. But Harper made both free throws with 2:25 remaining to bring Marion within two, then scored off a steal to tie the game once more at 37-37. 

The Berean Warriors scored again to take back the lead, 39-37, with 1:15 remaining. Then two fouls on Marion in the final seconds of overtime gave Berean four points in free throws, and the 41-37 margin of victory. 

Harper was the only Marion player to make double digits with 17 points, including one three-pointer. Robson had six points from his two three-pointers and Antosyk put up five points, including a three-pointer. The Marion Warriors had a pretty solid shooting average, with 44 and 45 percent from the field and beyond the arc, and 89 percent from the line.

Girls – 

The Marion Warriors started off the game fighting, trailing by only a few points early-on and even taking a 7-6 lead with 2:24 left in the first quarter, thanks to a basket on the inside from 6-foot, 2-inch senior Whitney Gordon. 

That sparked a back-and-forth struggle for the lead in the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second, with each team coming back at least once to take the lead. But Berean hit a three-pointer with 7:06 left in the half, jump-starting the Berean offense on their way to score nine unanswered points. 

Marion did manage a free throw to snap the streak, but with 3:04 remaining in the half Berean went up, 22-12. The Warriors rallied in the last two minutes of the half, combining for five points to make the score 22-17 going into the break.

Kaelyn Thierolf started off the second half with a basket to pull Marion within three points, 22-19, but Berean would once again slip away with nine more unanswered points. The Berean Warriors led by 12 points, 31-19, at the end of the third quarter.

Despite six points from Gordon in the last six minutes of the game, Marion could not keep up with a Berean team that steadily pulled away and out-scored Marion, 16-8, in the fourth quarter for the 47-27 win.

Gordon had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds on the night. Kaelyn Thierolf had five points and Katey Ehrlich and Kelli Hess chipped in three and two points to round out the scoring. The Marion Warriors had a 32 percent shooting average from the field and made none of six attempts from beyond the arc. They had a 29 percent average from the line.

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