The Marion boys burst out of the starting gate last Tuesday with a 6-0 run on their way to a 59-33 victory over Sedgwick.
?We just wanted to get back to playing good basketball like we had prior to the Moundridge game,? coach Jeff McMillin said. ?We didn?t get all the way back, but we took a step in the right direction.?
Crucial to that step was an increase in offensive production.
?Our supporting guys really stepped up and got back to being offensive threats,? McMillin said. ?Jordan (Hett) and Jacob (Harper) played very well offensively, and that is what we have come to expect. It makes us more difficult to defend when we have good scoring balance.?
Harper recorded a game-high 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the team.
Marion surged to an 11-3 lead on a Harper basket with 10 seconds left in the opening period. The Warrior defense forced turnovers and grabbed steals.
?We made (Sedgwick) work to get dribble penetration and got our hands on a lot of passes,? McMillin said.
A Sedgwick three-point basket at the buzzer narrowed Marion?s lead to five, but the Warriors outscored Sedgwick 14-9 in the second quarter and surged to a 25-15 lead on a 6-0 run to end the half.
After the break, Hett nailed two shots from behind the arc in less than a minute. The teams traded scores, but Marion secured a 41-24 advantage going into the final quarter of play.
Marion scored twice as many points as Sedgwick in the final period (18-9), opening with a 12-0 burst on scores by Hett, Taylor Heidebrecht, Wiley Lundy and Austin Pedersen to build a 29-point lead at 53-24 with 4:59 to play.
The teams once again traded scores until Bret Voth landed a traditional three-point play at the 1:58 mark and followed with a basket 30 seconds later to give Marion a 59-28 lead. The Cardi?nals scored the final two baskets to narrow the final margin to 26.
McMillin said he was pleased with the Warriors? rebounding effort as well as his team?s aggressiveness on offense. Joining Harper in double-digit scoring was Hett with 18.
With the win, the Warriors improved to 2-1 in the league, 8-1 overall.
Coming??Marion will compete this week in the Cougar Classic tournament hosted by Centre. The Warriors were scheduled to open play at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday against Elyria Christian (0-6, 2-8) with additional games set for Friday and Saturday.