The Marion girls suffered a 50-35 loss to Wichita Independent Friday at the Heart of America and Central Plains league challenge in McPherson.
The Warriors struggled to contain Lea Coccetella and Janell Douvier, who combined for 35 of Independent’s points. Coccetella made five three-pointers.
“We knew Coccetella was a good shooter and player in general, we just didn’t realize how good,” coach Kelly Robson said. “We tried to close out well at the three-point line—and did for much of the game—but we lost her a few times, and she made us pay for it.
“Early in the game, we played man defense and I was concerned about how we would handle Douvier inside. Alli (Molleker) did a very nice job of fronting her in the early going, and the guards were dropping down to help double-team her some. She didn’t really accumulate her points until the fourth quarter.”
Marion trailed 12-10 after one quarter. Kourtney Hansen and Alli Molleker accounted for Warrior scoring in the period.
The teams played evenly through the second quarter, as Hansen scored five of Marion’s 10 points, leading to a 22-20 margin at intermission.
A low-scoring third-quarter ensued. While Marion limited Independent to eight points, the Warriors scored only four points, courtesy of a pair of baskets by Corin Parmley. At the final break, the gap had grown to 30-24.
Independent exploded with a 20-point fourth quarter. The Panthers’ top two scorers each scored six points in the period. Marion, meanwhile, was led by Corrina Crabb, who contributed six of Marion’s 11 points. In the end, Marion lost by 15.
“I didn’t feel that we played poorly in this quarter—though we did have a couple of loose turnovers,” Robson said. “Independent just did really good things.”
Hansen led Marion’s scoring effort with 12 points.
“I thought we competed well for most of the game,” Robson said. “We got a bit discouraged in the fourth (quarter) but tried to keep battling. Their two players are really good. We knew it was going to be tough to contain them.”
Coming—Marion (3-2) was scheduled to play at Hillsboro (4-1) Tuesday. The Warriors will return to action after the holiday break, traveling to Ell-Saline Jan. 5.