The fourth-seeded Marion boys opened the Marion Class 3A sub-state tournament with a 38-34 victory over No. 5 Halstead Monday night.
The Warriors led, 8-5, at the end of the first quarter and had built a 20-12 halftime advantage.
Each team added 10 points in the third quarter for a 30-22 margin heading into the final period.
Although Halstead outscored Marion 12-8 in the final quarter, Marion held on for the four-point win.
Hutch Trinity?Marion?s biggest deficit occurred within the first minute of last Tuesday?s game at Hutchinson Trinity, but the Warriors soared to a 54-40 victory over the Celtics.
?We focused in pretty well,? coach Jeff McMillin said. ?We?ve had trouble in the past with teams that deny on the wings and really make it difficult for us to get into our offense. I thought, by far, tonight?s game we handled that the best.
?We knew they?d want to go inside. They had good inside players, and so we really wanted to try to crowd the lane if we could.?
When Marion was called for a foul 15 seconds into the game, the Celtics made two free throws for what would be their largest lead of the night at 2-0.
From there, baskets by Grif Case sandwiched a Timothy Knolla three-pointer for a 7-2 Warrior lead.
The Celtics answered with a three before Taylor Heidebrecht and Knolla scored to give Marion its largest lead of the half, 11-5.
Trinity responded with a 7-0 run to retake a narrow advantage, but Marion reclaimed it with a Case three-pointer and a James Jones bucket for a 16-12 lead by the end of the quarter.
The teams battled evenly in the second quarter, which ended with a 26-22 Marion lead. Case contributed five points in the quarter, Robson four and Baldwin added a free throw.
The Celtics scored first out of the break, Marion increased the margin to 31-24. After two Celtic free throws and a basket, Jacob Baldwin ended third quarter scoring with a three-point play for a 34-28 lead.
After a Trinity free throw, Knolla drained a three-pointer with 6:50 left. Marion forced three Celtic turnovers in as many minutes, and Baldwin scored to give the Warriors a 39-29 advantage with 3:56 to play.
Heidebrecht later scored consecutive baskets after grabbing a steal for a 43-31 margin. He and Knolla scored from the charity stripe after that, making nine of 10 free throws in the final 1:17.
Heidebrecht added a basket off a turnover with 38 seconds left, and Marion cruised to the 14-point win.
Heidebrecht led Marion with 16 points. Case added 12 and Knolla 11.
Coming?With the win, Marion will face No. 1 Hesston Thursday at Marion. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Hesston defeated No. 8 Sedgwick 71-40 Monday.
Sacred Heart and Southeast of Saline will compete at 6 p.m. Thursday.