?We have a tendency just to get back on our heels too much when the pressure?s great,? coach Jeff McMillin said. ?A good defensive team like (Berean) makes it difficult for you to get good shots. We just get it into our heads way too easily that when those contested shots don?t fall, it?s not our night.?
After a Timothy Knolla basket, Berean surged to a 9-2 lead midway into the first quarter. Marion outscored Berean 6-2 over the next three minutes, drawing within 11-8 after a three-point play by Bret Voth. The quarter ended with Berean in front, 12-8.
Berean extended its lead to 17-8, but Marion?s Taylor Heidebrecht narrowed the gap to 17-13 when he scored with 4:35 left before halftime.
With Berean grabbing most of the rebounds, and Marion plagued by turn?overs, Berean surged to a 25-13 lead by halftime.
Berean?s lead remained in double figures until Zach Robson made a basket to narrow the gap to 28-19 with 4:58 left in the third quarter.
When Grif Case drained a three-pointer at 2:02, Marion was within 32-26. The third quarter ended with Berean in front, 36-28.
Berean pushed the lead back to double figures with a three-pointer to open the final quarter. A basket by James Jones brought Marion within 39-30, but Berean regained a double-digit lead for good with a basket at 6:24 and led by as many as 18 points.
?We get into long scoring droughts to where we don?t have any confidence shooting because the first couple of them didn?t go,? McMillin said. ?We were kind of bit by that bug again tonight.?
Marion shot just under 32 percent for the game (14-44). Robson led the Warriors with 12 points.
Coming?Marion participates in the Cougar Classic tournament at Centre this week as the No. 5 seed. The Warriors were scheduled to open play Tuesday against No. 4 Solomon.
Marion will play again Friday at either 5:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at either 3:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
A schedule was not available at press time. Check hillsborofreepress.com for same-night coverage.
Additional teams in the tournament include No. 1 Rural Vista, No. 2 Centre, No. 3 Manhattan Flinthills, No. 6 Pea?body-Burns, No. 7 Wakefield and No. 8 Elyria Christian.
?We?re going to play some good teams over there, and our goal is to win three games,? McMillin said. ?We understand it?s going to be a challenge.?