The Marion girls’ basketball team closed the regular season with a 42-32 loss at Bennington Monday.
Coach Kelly Robson said he was pleased with how the Warriors competed in the first half, especially on defense, but lamented missed opportunities that could have affected the final outcome.
The Bulldogs claimed a 14-8 lead after one quarter of play, but Marion responded by tying the score late in the first half. Bennington, however, held a 20-16 advantage at halftime.
“In the second quarter when we tied the score, we could have really ended the half with some momentum,” Robson said. “But instead, our next two offensive possessions weren’t good—turnovers on both, I think—and we allowed Bennington to score twice.”
Bennington extended its margin by outscoring Marion, 14-9 in the third quarter to lead, 34-25, at the end of the period. An 8-7 fourth quarter gave the Bulldogs a double-digit advantage when the final buzzer sounded.
“We had cut a 14-point deficit in the third quarter down to just seven points,” Robson said. “Bennington missed a free throw, and, if we get the rebound, we have a real chance to continue cutting the lead. But we didn’t block out well enough and missed that opportunity, too.
“I do believe we are a better team than when we started the season. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the girls improve. We still have way too many turnovers, but they’ve never stopped working.”
Corrina Crabb led the Warriors with 13 points. As a team, Marion made about 33 percent of its field goal attempts (11-for-33).
Marion went 1-8 in Heart of America league play this season. Sterling (9-0) won the league.
Coming—Seeded seventh in the Class 2A sub-state tournament hosted by Marion, the Warriors (1-8, 4-16) were scheduled to compete in a quarterfinal game at second-seeded Allen-Northern Heights (12-6) Tuesday. With a win, Marion would face the winner of No. 3 Herington (10-8) and No. 6 Rossville (5-14) Friday. The other half of the bracket features No. 1 Wabaunsee (15-3) versus No. 8 Goessel (4-16) and No. 4 Mission Valley (8-11) versus No. 5 Hillsboro (6-13). The championship is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. in Marion.