Despite falling behind at the start of Tuesday’s game, the Marion boys trimmed what had been a 15-point deficit to six early in the third quarter, but Berean Academy ran away with the game at the end to the tune of a 61-37 score.
A 2-2 tie two minutes in turned into a 10-2 Warrior deficit when Marion shots refused to fall and Berean hit a pair of three-pointers in 28 seconds. Chase Stringer made Marion’s second basket in 10 attempts at the 2:40 mark, and Stringer scored again with 1:08 left in the period. The teams traded baskets to end the quarter, and Berean scored at the buzzer to take an 18-8 lead at the first break.
Marion outscored Berean, 14-13 in the second quarter. After Berean built its lead to 29-14, Mason Pedersen scored baskets at the beginning and end of an 8-0 Warrior run that brought Marion within 29-22 with 26 seconds left in the half. Berean scored the half’s final basket to take a 31-22 lead at intermission.
Marion trimmed its deficit to six, 33-27, when Pedersen hit a three-pointer at the 5:28 mark, but made just three more baskets in 12 attempts the remainder of the game. Berean, meanwhile, outscored Marion, 11-5, in the final 5:13 of the third quarter to lead, 44-32, heading into the fourth period. The home team continued what it began, outscoring Marion, 17-5, in the final period to win by 24 in the end.
“They took advantage of some things inside,” coach Randy Skiles said. “We didn’t get our help (rotation) over like we should have. We took some quick threes that we shouldn’t have taken.”
Stringer led the Warrior scoring effort with 11 points.
Coming—Marion is competing in the Class 3A sub-state hosted by Mission Valley this week.
The Warriors are the No. 7 seed with a 5-15 record and were scheduled to play at No. 2 Council Grove (13-6) Tuesday. With a win, Marion would face the winner of No. 3 Wellsville (13-6) and No. 6 West Franklin (7-11) Friday at Mission Valley.
The other half of the bracket features No. 1 Southeast of Saline (14-5) versus No. 8 Central Heights (0-20) and No. 4 Mission Valley (12-8) versus No. 5 Osage City (11-9).
The championship will be played Saturday at 7:30 p.m.